A comparative numerical study has been carried out to analyze the unsteady three-dimensional flow and heat transfer in a parallel-plate channel heat exchangers with in-line arrays of periodically mounted square cylinders (pins) at various Reynolds number and geometrical configurations. The geometry considered represents the narrow trailing edge region of the blade where pin fins are used to serve both a structural and a heat transfer role. The three-dimensional unsteady Navier-Stokes and energy equations are solved using higher order temporal and spatial discretizations. The simulations have been carried out for a range of Reynolds number based on cylinder width (180–600) and a Prandtl number of 6.99 (corresponding to water). Conjugate heat transfer calculations have been employed to account for the conduction in the solid cylinder and convection in the fluid. The thermal performance factor (TPF) increases significantly when the flow becomes unsteady. The choice of aspect ratio of the cylinders is judged by their relative increase in friction factor and heat transfer at transitional Reynolds number. The TPF is found to increase with the increase in pitch of the cylinders. The increase in channel height enhances the TPF though the heat transfer decreases at higher channel height.

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