Title page for ETD etd-08222002-144010

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Stephan, Ryan Adam
URN etd-08222002-144010
Title Heat Transfer Measurements and Optimization Studies Relevant to Louvered Fin Compact Heat Exchangers
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thole, Karen A. Committee Chair
Dancey, Clinton L. Committee Member
Tafti, Danesh K. Committee Member
  • Compact Heat Exchanger
  • Louvered Fin
Date of Defense 2002-08-21
Availability unrestricted
A compact heat exchanger is a device used to transfer thermal energy between two or more fluids. The most extensive use of compact heat exchangers occurs in the commercial trucking industry. Most compact heat exchanger designs contain tubes carrying one fluid and external fins through which passes another fluid. To enhance the fin-side heat transfer in a compact heat exchanger, which is typically the air side of the heat exchanger, louvers are manufactured into the fins. Louvered fins initiate the growth of new boundary layers such that the average convective heat transfer coefficient is higher than that which would occur for a continuous fin. Approximately 85% of the total thermal resistance occurs on the air side of the heat exchanger. To design more space and weight efficient heat exchangers, it is imperative to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that serve to increase the heat transfer on the air side.

This thesis presents the heat transfer results of three scaled-up louvered fin geometries and compares these results to six additional models in which the louver angle, fin pitch and Reynolds number were varied. Two experiments were performed to determine the reference temperature used for the calculation of the heat transfer coefficients. The use of two reference temperatures allowed the effects of the flow field and thermal field to be separated. This thesis also presents details of an optimization study performed for a louvered fin array.

The results of the experimental study showed that the hot thermal wakes formed at the entrance louver have an adverse effect on the heat transfer of downstream louvers. Measuring the adiabatic wall temperature of the louvers in the array showed the effect of these thermal wakes. The experimental study showed that the optimal louver geometry was Reynolds number dependent. For the lower two Reynolds numbers of ReLp = 230 and 370, the Fp/Lp = 1.52, q = 27° model was found to be the best performer, which does not agree with previous studies. For ReLp = 1016, the Fp/Lp = 0.91, q = 39° model was shown to have optimal heat transfer performance, which is in agreement with a previous study performed by Chang and Wang (1996).

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