Effect of tube shape on the performance of a fin and tube heat exchanger
A numerical study is carried out to test the effect of tube shape on heat transfer and fluid flow in a finned tube heat exchanger. The effects of different shapes (circular, flat, elliptical and oval in both orientations: left and right) are analyzed. The simulations are carried out for two-dimensional and external flow of an incompressible fluid with Reynolds numbers varying between 3000 and 20000. The results obtained indicate that the shape of the tube directly affects the thermal and dynamic behaviors of a fin and tube heat exchanger. Where the circular tube ensures higher heat transfer coefficient of about 18% than the flat tube, and it generate a moderate pressure drop of about 10% in the same conditions. Also, some reliable empirical correlations are proposed to predict the Nusselt number and the friction factor.
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