This paper presents an analysis of the performance of the Spatial Filter Velocimetry (SFV) technique applied to external flows across tube bundles to evaluate the benefits of using low particle concentration in a complex geometry. The experimental vector velocity fields were obtained in a tube bundle test section made of acrylic with 20 rows of 4 tubes of 20mm O.D. mounted in a normal triangular configuration and transversal pitch per diameter ratio of 1.25. The SFV results reliability was evaluated by comparing the volumetric flow rates estimated by the experimental vector velocity fields with the volumetric flow rates measured by the flowmeter, showing good agreement. Additionally, the experimental results are used to check the validity of numerical results obtained through CFD simulation. The experiments were conducted for Reynolds numbers of 909, 1842 and 3902. The velocity profiles obtained through the SFV technique agree with the CFD simulations results, which indicate consistent results for both analyzes. Therefore, the numerical and experimental results indicate that the SFV technique provides accurate velocity data and is suitable to be applied to complex geometries, especially in regions away of the test section wall due to the good visibility provided by low particle concentration.

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