Finned tubes are one of the most widely used means of passively enhancing the heat transfer in circular tubes. Many investigators have proposed different correlations for predicting the performance of such heat exchangers based on their experimental investigations. However, the practical usage of such correlations is limited because of the variety of parameters that can influence Nusselt number and friction factor. Most of the correlations either have been developed with limited databases, or are geometry specific. Using CFD for analyzing performance of such heat exchangers is very computational intensive and hence cannot practically be applied for design optimization purposes. On the other hand, empirical correlations have many limitations in terms of their applicability. The objective of the present article is to present a physically based model for evaluating heat transfer and frictional loss for an internally and / or externally finned double pipe heat exchanger that can be applied in a wide range of operating conditions of practical importance. This paper describes a simple semi-empirical-numerical methodology to evaluate heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics in a finned tube heat exchanger with internal and/or external fins. Conduction and turbulent forced convection are the prominent modes of heat transfer. In order to resolve the operational characteristics of double pipe finned heat exchangers, a numerical methodology is presented which uses well known existing correlations for flow in a smooth pipe and flow over a flat plate. The method of successive substitution is used to solve the problem numerically. The proposed methodology is applied to some simple cases and the results compare well with existing data and correlations available in the literature. It is found that the addition of fins to such double pipe heat exchangers reduce the Nusselt Number; however the corresponding heat transfer rate is enhanced owing to the increase in the overall heat transfer area.

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