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Research Papers

Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Analysis of Nanofluids in Corrugated Plate Heat Exchangers Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Amir Jokar

ThermoFluids Tech,
Vancouver, WA 98665
e-mail: Amir.Jokar@gmail.com

Steven P. O'Halloran

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Portland,
Portland, OR 97203

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 12, 2011; final manuscript received September 10, 2012; published online February 22, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Arun Muley.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 5(1), 011002 (Feb 22, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: TSEA-11-1172; doi: 10.1115/1.4007777 History: Received December 12, 2011; Revised September 10, 2012

The effect of Al2O3 nanofluids in a corrugated plate heat exchanger (PHE) were investigated in this study using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Nanofluids have received attention recently as potential fluids to increase heat transfer in simple geometries, and work to investigate nanofluids in different systems is ongoing. In this study, a three-channel corrugated PHE with a width of 127 mm, length of 56 mm and channel thickness of 2 mm was investigated. The hot fluid in the system flows through the middle channel while the cold fluid flows through the two side channels. Three chevron angle configurations were considered for the simulation: 60 deg/60 deg, 27 deg/60 deg, and 27 deg/27 deg. Commercially available CFD software (ansys fluent) was used for the simulations. Numerical simulations were conducted for four Al2O3-water nanofluid concentrations: 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% by volume. In addition, plain water was simulated for comparison. The simulation results show that although the thermal conductivity does increase with increasing nanofluid volume fraction, heat transfer decreases slightly with increasing nanofluid volume fraction. This decrease can be attributed to increased fluid viscosity with increasing volume fraction and the complex flow regimes of nanofluids in the three-dimensional geometries of PHEs.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Corrugation patterns of two adjacent plates and (b) flow diagram of hot and cold streams with major dimensions displayed

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Fig. 2

Thermal conductivity of Al2O3-water nanofluid

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Fig. 3

Dynamics viscosity of Al2O3-water nanofluid

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Fig. 4

Model of single plate for heat exchanger assembly

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Fig. 5

Exploded view of the L-plate model

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Fig. 6

Assembled L-plate model showing direction of flow

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Fig. 7

(a) Velocity contour plot and (b) uniquely colored pathlines inside of hot channel of L-plate heat exchanger with 1% Al2O3-water nanofluid for the test point #1

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Fig. 8

Temperature contour plot inside (a) cold channel and (b) hot channel of L-plate heat exchanger with 1% Al2O3-water nanofluid for the test point #1

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Fig. 9

Pathlines for hot fluid in L-plate and M-plate heat exchangers, color-coded with velocity with 1% Al2O3 nanofluid for the test point #1

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Fig. 10

Nanofluid simulation heat transfer results for all test points

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Fig. 11

Nanofluid simulation hot-fluid pressure drop results for all test points

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Fig. 12

Nanofluid simulation cold-fluid pressure drop results for all test points

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