Numerical computation of flow and heat transfer in finned and unfinned tube banks

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Date of Original Version



A finite volume numerical scheme is utilized to predict fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics in inline tube banks. The effect of equipping the tubes with longitudinal fins on the pressure drop and heat transfer is studied. The governing equations for fluid flow and heat transfer are numerically solved, with the assumption of periodic, fully developed flow. The numerical methodology utilizes the stepped boundary technique to approximate the tube surface. The tubes are maintained at a constant temperature, and the calculations are carried out for laminar flow and for a large range of Reynolds and Prandtl numbers. The results for the unfinned tube case are compared with previously published experimental data. The numerical results agree well with the experimental measurements. Representative results for the case of the finned tubes indicate, surprisingly, a decrease in the heat transfer rate, and small changes in the pressure drop, as a result of finning. The decrease in the heat transfer rate probably occurs because the fins are placed in the stagnation regions at the front and rear of the tubes, and thus do not increase the heat transfer. © 1987.

Publication Title

International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer