This paper presents the results of an experimental study of forced convection heat transfer in a narrow rectangular duct fitted with an elliptical tube and one or two a delta-winglet pairs. The duct was designed to simulate a single passage in a fin-tube heat exchanger. Heat transfer measurements were obtained using a transient technique in which a heated airflow is suddenly introduced to the test section. High-resolution local fin-surface temperature distributions were obtained at several times after initiation of the transient using an imaging infrared camera. Corresponding local fin-surface heat transfer coefficients were then calculated from a locally applied one-dimensional semi-infinite inverse heat conduction model. Heat transfer results were obtained over a Reynolds number range based on duct height of 670–6300.

Pressure drop measurements have also been obtained for similar elliptical-tube and winglet geometries using a separate single-channel, multiple-tube-row pressure-drop apparatus. The pressure-drop apparatus includes four tube rows in a staggered array. Comparisons of heat transfer and pressure drop results for the elliptical tube versus a circular tube with and without winglets are provided.

Mean heat transfer results indicated that the addition of the single winglet pair to the oval-tube geometry yielded significant heat transfer enhancement, averaging 38% higher than the oval-tube, no-winglet case. The corresponding increase in friction factor associated with the addition of the single winglet pair to the oval-tube geometry was very modest, less than 10% at ReDh = 500 and less than 5% at ReDh = 5000.

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