Numerical Solution of an Open Cavity, Natural Convection Heat Exchanger

[+] Author and Article Information
D. A. Richmond

Polysar Limited, Sarnia, Canada

K. G. T. Hollands

Centre for Solar Thermal Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

J. Heat Transfer 111(1), 80-85 (Feb 01, 1989) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3250662 History: Received August 24, 1987; Online October 20, 2009


An “open-cavity” natural convection heat exchanger is one in which the flow on one side is driven by buoyancy forces and in which the effect of associated piping, valves, and fittings on that side can be ignored, since the exchanger is effectively exposed there to an extensive fluid of uniform temperature. This paper reports a finite volume numerical solution of the full set of equations governing the flow on the natural convection side of such a heat exchanger. The exchanger’s dimensionless performance is shown to depend on five dimensionless groups: a modified Rayleigh number Ra*, a flow number F describing the forced convection heat capacity, a Biot number Bi describing the effect of forced convection side heat transfer coefficient, an aspect ratio AR , and the Prandtl number Pr. A parametric study is performed for suitable ranges of Ra*, F, and Bi, and for Pr = 6 and AR = 0.1. The results are presented in terms of a Nusselt number, a dimensionless flow rate, and the exchanger effectiveness as a function of these variables.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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