Spatially Resolved Heat Transfer Studies in Louvered Fins for Compact Heat Exchangers


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Virginia Tech


Understanding the mechanisms that serve to increase heat transfer provides valuable knowledge to minimize the size and maximize the performance of compact heat exchangers. This document presents a detailed experimental heat transfer study of six scaled up louvered fin geometries that are typical of those found in modern louvered fin compact heat exchangers. Heat transfer measurements were performed over a range of Reynolds numbers and with two different boundary conditions. A fully heated boundary condition allowed the effects of the thermal field to be observed while an adiabatic boundary condition allowed the effects of the flow field to be observed. The results indicated that the complex thermal and flow field patterns that developed within the louvered fin geometries strongly affected the heat transfer of individual louvers. In the entrance region of the louvered array, the effects of the flow field were dominant while in the fully developed region of the louvered arrays, the effects of the thermal field were dominant. A companion two-dimensional CFD study indicated that the heat transfer trends of the louvers resulting from both the thermal and flow fields were well predicted. Based on heat transfer performance, it was determined that the theta = 27°, Fp/Lp = 1.52 geometry performed the best at Re = 230 and Re = 370, while the theta = 39°, Fp/Lp = 0.91 geometry performed best at Re = 1016.



compact heat exchanger, louvered fin