RESEARCH PAPERS: Heat Exchangers

Impact of Manifold Design on Heat Exchanger Efficiency

[+] Author and Article Information
D. K. Harris, D. G. Warren, V. W. Goldschmidt

Herrick Laboratories, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906

J. Heat Transfer 119(2), 357-362 (May 01, 1997) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2824232 History: Received May 24, 1996; Revised December 06, 1996; Online December 05, 2007


The impact of manifold design on single-phase heat exchanger effectiveness is studied using the NTU-Effectiveness method. Manifolds are devices that redistribute the internal flow stream of a heat exchanger from one to several passages. Two manifold types are identified: collector box and direct split designs. The particular application considered is that of a gas fired forced air heating system. A general enhancement analysis is performed which covers four different combinations of performance and objective criteria. Three cases involve increasing the heat exchanger effectiveness while constraining either the internal flow head loss, the internal mass flow rate, or their product. The other case involves reducing the required heat exchanger flow length while constraining the heat transfer rate. Familiar convection correlations are then incorporated into the enhancement analysis to predict general trends and behavior when the main tube is split into several smaller tubes. Analytical estimates of improved effectiveness are presented for three operating conditions of an actual heat exchanger which possesses a manifold. Experimental data acquired from the gas-to-gas heat exchanger are compared to numerical predictions of its performance without a manifold (baseline design). The analytical equations developed closely predict the improvement in heat exchanger effectiveness.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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