Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Study of the Influence of the Lack of Contact in Plate and Fin and Tube Heat Exchanger on Heat Transfer Efficiency under Periodic Flow Conditions

Version 1 : Received: 24 June 2021 / Approved: 28 June 2021 / Online: 28 June 2021 (14:07:40 CEST)

How to cite: Łęcki, M.; Andrzejewski, D.; Gutkowski, A.; Gorecki, G. Study of the Influence of the Lack of Contact in Plate and Fin and Tube Heat Exchanger on Heat Transfer Efficiency under Periodic Flow Conditions. Preprints 2021, 2021060660 Łęcki, M.; Andrzejewski, D.; Gutkowski, A.; Gorecki, G. Study of the Influence of the Lack of Contact in Plate and Fin and Tube Heat Exchanger on Heat Transfer Efficiency under Periodic Flow Conditions. Preprints 2021, 2021060660

Abstract

Plate fin-tube heat exchangers are widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems and other industry fields. Various errors made in the manufacturing process can result in the formation of an air gap between the tube and fin. Several numerical simulations were carried out for a symmetric section of plate fin-tube heat exchanger to study the influence of air gap on heat transfer under periodic flow conditions. Different locations and sizes of an air gap spanning 1/2 circumference of the tube were considered for the range of airflow velocities. Velocity and temperature fields for cases with air gap were compared with ideal thermal contact cases. Blocking of heat flow by the gap leads to the reduction of heat transfer rate. Fin discontinuity in the front of the tube causes the smallest reduction of the heat transfer rate in comparison to the ideal tube-fin contact, especially for thin slits. The rear gap position is the worst in the smallest gap range. Therefore, reversing the flow direction can lead to up to a 15% heat transfer increase, if mainly the rear gaps are present. The introduction of a thin slit in the front of the tube leads to convective heat transfer enhancement, which should be further investigated.

Keywords

heat exchanger; plate-fin tube; tube-fin contact; CFD

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