Title page for ETD etd-09252005-221130

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sanders, Paul Alan
Author's Email Address psanders@vt.edu
URN etd-09252005-221130
Title Effects of Louver Length and Vortex Generators to Augment Tube Wall Heat Transfer in Louvered Fin Heat Exchangers
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thole, Karen A. Committee Chair
Huxtable, Scott T. Committee Member
Vick, Brian L. Committee Member
  • delta winglet
  • compact heat exchanger
  • louvered fin
  • vortex generator
  • tube wall
Date of Defense 2005-09-14
Availability unrestricted
There are several different types of compact heat exchangers used in applications where small size and weight are required. One particular type of compact heat exchanger, the louvered fin heat exchanger, has been used heavily in the automotive and air conditioning industries. Over the last several decades, the majority of the work towards improving louvered fin exchanger efficiency has focused on designing more efficient fins by optimizing fin parameters like louver angle, fin pitch, louver pitch, and louver length. At this point in time, many improvements to standard louver geometry have been made, so other surfaces and methods of enhancing exchanger performance need to be studied if any significant future efficiency gains are to be expected.

This thesis presents a detailed experimental study that has two major foci relative to the performance of the louvered fin compact heat exchanger. The first is to determine the effect of louver length on pressure drop and tube wall heat transfer, which is the primary heat transfer surface in the heat exchanger. The second is to augment tube wall heat transfer with the use of delta winglets placed on the fins near the tube wall. These studies were completed on a 20X scale model of a louvered fin exchanger with a fin pitch to louver pitch ratio of 0.76 and a louver angle of 27°, over a Reynolds number range based on louver pitch of 230 < ReLp < 1016. The three louver lengths evaluated were 100%, 82%, and 70% of the fin height and delta winglet experiments were performed for louver length to fin pitch ratios of 100% and 70%. Heat transfer results for the louver length tests show that decreasing louver length leads to increases in tube wall heat transfer of 0% to 50% depending on Reynolds number. Also, delta winglets placed on the fins near the tube wall have been shown to produce average tube wall heat transfer augmentations of up to 52%.

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