Tube fin heat exchangers are extensively used in many engineering devices. One such application is a shell and tube heat exchanger as shown in the figure below.
In order to quantify the performance, tests are required in a laboratory that are very expensive. Manufacturers have traditionally relied upon laboratory testing as CFD of the resulting problem is quite difficult. Flow and heat transfer phenomenon for such problems are essentially unsteady for flow rates that are typically encountered in large commercial inter and after coolers. ACUSIM Software Inc. and API Heat Transfer collaborated to demonstrate the viability of solving unsteady flow and heat transfer in staggered tube bundles with external fins. Following state of the art methodology to define a problem for efficient and accurate computations, two cases described in Kays and London have been solved for friction (f) and Colburn (j) factors using AcuSolve. The methodology relies on solving a doubly periodic flow and heat transfer problem in the smallest geometric module that repeats itself between baffles. The periodic domain and the boundary conditions are depicted in the figure below.
The established methodology can be easily applied to fins of different configurations like louvered fins, wavy fins etc. To visualize the animations associated with the simulations, please click the icons below.