Research Papers

On the Thermal Performance of a Microparallel Channels Heat Exchanger

[+] Author and Article Information
Ivana Fernandes de Sousa

Laboratory of Nano and Microfluidics and Micro-
Engineering of Nanotechnology Department,
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro—UFRJ,
Rio de Janeiro 21.941-594, Brazil

Carolina Palma Naveira Cotta

Laboratory of Nano and Microfluidics and
Mechanical Engineering Department,
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro—UFRJ,
Rio de Janeiro 21.941-594, Brazil;
Nanoengineered Systems Laboratory,
UCL Mechanical Engineering,
University College London,
London WC1E 6BT, UK
e-mail: carolina@mecanica.coppe.ufrj.br

Daduí Cordeiro Guerrieri

Mechanical Engineering Department,
CEFET-RJ UnED Itaguaí,
Rio de Janeiro 23.812-101, Brazil

Manish K. Tiwari

Nanoengineered Systems Laboratory,
UCL Mechanical Engineering,
University College London,
London WC1E 7HB, UK

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received May 23, 2018; final manuscript received September 3, 2018; published online October 31, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Pedro Mago.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 11(2), 021006 (Oct 31, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1266; doi: 10.1115/1.4041439 History: Received May 23, 2018; Revised September 03, 2018

This paper presents the experimental and theoretical analysis of a micro heat exchanger designed for the waste heat recovery from a high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) system. A test bench was built to analyze the thermal behavior of a heat exchanger targeted to work in a similar condition of an existing HCPV panel. A high power heater was encapsulated inside a copper cartridge, covered by thermal insulation, leading to dissipated heat fluxes around 0.6 MW/m2, representative of the heat flux over the solar cell within the HCPV module. The experimental campaign employed water as the coolant fluid and was performed for three different mass flow rates. An infrared camera was used to nonintrusively measure the temperature field over the micro heat exchanger external surface, while thermocouples were placed at the contact between the heat exchanger and the heater, and at the water inlet and outlet ports. In the theoretical analysis, a hybrid numerical–analytical treatment is implemented, combining the numerical simulation through the comsolmultiphysics finite elements code for the micro heat exchanger, and the analytical solution of a lumped-differential formulation for the electrical heater cartridge, offering a substantial computational cost reduction. Such computational simulations of the three-dimensional conjugated heat transfer problem were critically compared to the experimental results and also permitted to inspect the adequacy of a theoretical correlation based on a simplified prescribed heat flux model without conjugation effects. It has been concluded that the conjugated heat transfer problem modeling should be adopted in future design and optimization tasks. The analysis demonstrates the enhanced heat transfer achieved by the microthermal system and confirms the potential in reusing the recovered heat from HCPV systems in a secondary process.

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Fig. 1

COMSOL simulated velocity profile for each microchannel with a rectangular plenum, Guerrieri et al. [1]

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Fig. 2

Technical drawings of the proposed micro heat exchanger: (a) open view of the bottom plate and (b) channel details and dimensions

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Fig. 3

COMSOL simulated velocity profile for each microchannel for the proposed micro heat exchanger with trapezoidal plenums

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Fig. 4

Azur space solar cell (type 3C42A): (a) actual picture and (b) schematic drawing

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Fig. 5

Fabricated micro heat exchanger: (a) open view of the heat exchanger bottom plate and (b) closed view of the heat exchanger

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Fig. 6

Schematic drawing of the heating system assembly with the external insulation cover: (a) electrical cylindrical heater, (b) schematic drawing of the heater inside the copper cartridge, and (c) dimensions of the copper cartridge and thermal insulation

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Fig. 7

Schematic drawing of the hydraulic circuit

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Fig. 8

Overview of the test bench: (a) data acquisition system, (b) computer for acquisition and data processing, (c) thermography camera, (d) heater system and (e) scale

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Fig. 9

Thermocouple positions: (tp1) inlet fluid port, (tp2) outlet fluid port, (tp3) contact between heating system and micro heat exchanger, and (tp4) fixed on the lateral external surface of insulation; (a) schematic drawing of the heat exchanger assembly and (b) assembled system

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Fig. 10

Adopted boundary conditions in the computational simulation and their respective places of application illustrated by the dark grey region: (a) imposed heat flux (bottom face), (b) insulated area (bottom face), (c) natural convection and radiation heat losses (lateral faces), and (d) natural convection and radiation heat losses (top face)

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Fig. 11

Dimensionless temperature at the micro heat exchanger lower surface, at the contact with the copper cartridge, for five repeated tests at the flow rate of 20 g/min (case 1)

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Fig. 12

Difference between the outlet (tp2) and inlet (tp1) water temperatures obtained from the thermocouple measurements, i.e., ΔT = tp2 − tp1

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Fig. 13

Outlet (three top curves) and inlet (three bottom curves) water temperatures obtained from the thermocouples measurements, tp2 and tp1, respectively, after 40 min and up to steady-state

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Fig. 14

Evolution of average surface temperature (dots) of the top external surface for case 1 and the corresponding infrared images for five different times

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Fig. 15

Illustration of the computational grid for the case with a total of 383,472 elements: (a) Mesh for the base and cover of the micro heat exchanger and (b) mesh at microchannels region

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Fig. 16

Error reduction in both average velocity and top surface temperature with the increase on the total number of elements (Nξ) in the computational grid

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Fig. 17

Comparison between steady-state numerical (solid line) results and experimental results (dots) from t = 40 min up to steady-state, of the outlet fluid bulk temperature, for the three cases analyzed

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Fig. 18

Typical infrared thermographic image with two central lines that transversally (dashed line) and longitudinally (dotted line) cross the external top surface of the micro heat exchanger

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Fig. 19

Experimental (hollow contour) and numerical results (solid contour) for the temperatures at the external top surface of the micro heat exchanger for a mass flow rate of 20 g/min

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Fig. 20

Comparison of surface temperatures along longitudinal and transversal centerlines: numerical (solid line) and experimental (dots) temperatures at the external top surface of the micro heat exchanger (mass flow rate of 28 g/min): (a) longitudinal centerline and (b) transversal centerline



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