Three-dimensional numerical simulation was conducted to investigate the flow field and heat transfer performance of the Cross-Wavy Primary Surface (CWPS) recuperators for microturbines. Using high-effective compact recuperators to achieve high thermal efficiency is one of the key techniques in the development of microturbine in recent years. Recuperators need to have minimum volume and weight, high reliability and durability. Most important of all, they need to have high thermal-effectiveness and low pressure-losses so that the gas turbine system can achieve high thermal performances. These requirements have attracted some research efforts in designing and implementing low-cost and compact recuperators for gas turbine engines recently. One of the promising techniques to achieve this goal is the so-called primary surface channels with small hydraulic dimensions. In this paper, we conducted a three-dimensional numerical study of flow and heat transfer for the Cross-Wavy Primary Surface (CWPS) channels with two different geometries. In the CWPS configurations the secondary flow is created by means of curved and interrupted surfaces, which may disturb the thermal boundary layers and thus improve the thermal performances of the channels. To facilitate comparison, we chose the identical hydraulic diameters for the above four CWPS channels. Since our experiments on real recuperators showed that the Reynolds number ranges from 150 to 500 under the operating conditions, we implemented all the simulations under laminar flow situations. By analyzing the correlations of Nusselt numbers and friction factors vs. Reynolds numbers of the four CWPS channels, we found that the CWPS channels have superior and comprehensive thermal performance with high compactness, i.e., high heat transfer area to volume ratio, indicating excellent commercialized application in the compact recuperators.

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