Pin fin heat exchanges are often used in cooling of high thermal loaded electronic components due to their excellent heat transfer performance. However, the pressure drop in such heat exchanges is usually much higher than that in others, so their overall heat transfer performance is seriously reduced. In order to reduce the pressure drop and improve the overall heat transfer performance for pin fin heat exchangers, porous metal pin arrays are used and the performance of fluid flow and heat transfer in heat exchanger unit cells are numerically studied. The Forchheimer-Brinkman extended Darcy model and two-equation heat transfer model for porous media are employed and the effects of Reynolds number (Re), permeability (K) and pin fin cross-section forms are studied in detail. The results show that, with proper selection of governing parameters, the overall heat transfer performance of porous pin fin heat exchanger is much better than that of traditional solid pin fin heat exchanger; the overall heat transfer performance of long elliptic porous pin fin heat exchanger is the best, that is, the heat transfer per unit pressure drop of such heat exchanger is the highest and the maximum value of the heat transfer over pressure drop is obtained at K = 2×10−7 m2.

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