In this work, we focus exclusively on heat transfer enhancement techniques for the air-side heat transfer in air-cooled heat exchangers/condensers. An innovative dimpled fin configuration is explored. Experiments, in which both heat transfer and drag are measured, are conducted with flat tubes in three configurations: without fins, with plain fins and with dimpled fins. Reynolds numbers based on the hydraulic diameter of the finned passages are varied between 600 and 7000. Results indicate that fins are more advantageous at lower Reynolds numbers since the increase in drag at higher Reynolds numbers quickly erases any advantage due to an increase in heat transfer rate. As an example, for the plain fins versus a bare tube at a Reynolds number of 600, there is a 7 fold increase in heat transfer with only a 5 fold increase in drag. However, at a Reynolds number of 7000, both heat transfer and drag increase by approximately 6 times, indicating that the increase in drag has caught up with the heat transfer enhancement. Similarly, while dimpled fins do result in higher heat transfer compared with the plain fins, the advantage is also more prominent at lower Reynolds numbers where heat transfer enhancement is higher than the associated increase in pumping power.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.