An innovative approach was opted for modeling the flow and heat transfer through spirally fluted tubes. The model divided the flow domain into two regions. The flutes were modeled as a porous substrate with direction-dependent permeabilities. This enabled modeling the swirl component in the fluted tube. The properties of the porous substrate such as its thickness, porosity, and ratio of the direction-dependent permeabilities were obtained from the geometry of the fluted tube. Experimental data on laminar Nusselt numbers and friction factors for different types of fluted tubes representing a broad range of flute geometry were available. Experimental data from a few of the tubes tested were used to propose a relationship between the permeability of the porous substrate and the flute parameters, particularly the flute spacing. The governing equations were discretized using the Finite Element Method. The model was verified and applied to the other tubes in the test matrix. Very good agreement was found between the numerical predictions and the experimental data.

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