A computational investigation of temporally- and spatially-periodic laminar two-dimensional fluid flow and heat transfer in staggered-plate arrays is presented in this paper. The objective and the novel aspect of this study is the investigation of the influence (on the numerical solutions) of including single and multiple representative geometric modules in the calculation domain, with spatially-periodic boundary conditions imposed on the instantaneous velocity and temperature fields in both the streamwise and the lateral directions. The following geometrical parameters, normalized with respect to a representative module height, were studied: a dimensionless plate length equal to 1, and a dimensionless plate thickness of 0.250. This relatively high value of dimensionless plate thickness, compared to those commonly encountered in rectangular offset-fin cores of compact heat exchangers, was deliberately chosen to induce and enhance the unsteady features of the fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena. Different specified values of the time-mean modular streamwise gradient of the reduced pressure were investigated, yielding values of Reynolds number (Kays and London definition) in the range of 100 to 625. The Prandtl number was fixed at 0.7. In the multiple-module simulations, for Reynolds number values exceeding 400, it was found that multiple solutions are possible: the particular solution which is obtained in any one simulation depends on the specified initial conditions. The results presented include time-mean modular friction factors, modular Colburn factors, and Strouhal numbers.

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