Heat Transfer in Thin, Compact Heat Exchangers With Circular, Rectangular, or Pin-Fin Flow Passages

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

Chemical Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80303-3328

J. Heat Transfer 114(2), 373-382 (May 01, 1992) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2911285 History: Received May 01, 1991; Revised January 01, 1992; Online May 23, 2008


We have measured heat transfer and pressure drop of three thin, compact heat exchangers in helium gas at 3.5 MPa and higher, with Reynolds numbers of 450 to 36,000. The flow geometries for the three heat exchanger specimens were: circular tube, rectangular channel, and staggered pin fin with tapered pins. The specimens were heated radiatively at heat fluxes up to 77 W/cm2 . Correlations were developed for the isothermal friction factor as a function of Reynolds number, and for the Nusselt number as a function of Reynolds number and the ratio of wall temperature to fluid temperature. The specimen with the pin fin internal geometry had significantly better heat transfer than the other specimens, but it also had higher pressure drop. For certain conditions of helium flow and heating, the temperature more than doubled from the inlet to the outlet of the specimens, producing large changes in gas velocity, density, viscosity, and thermal conductivity. These changes in properties did not affect the correlations for friction factor and Nusselt number in turbulent flow.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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