Most pressure drop and heat transfer correlations obtained from the toroidal geometric system have been applied to the analysis of helical and spiral tube systems. While toroidal (and helical) coils have a constant radius of curvature about the coil center point (and center-line), spiral coils have a continuously varying radius of curvature, in which the varying centrifugal forces contribute to further enhance the heat transfer (at the cost of additional pressure drop) over toroidal and helical tube heat exchangers of the same length. Due to lack of published analytical, numerical and experimental data on spiral coil systems, in this paper, the laminar flow pressure drop and heat transfer characteristics of spiral coil systems are investigated with a commercially available CFD package (Fluent 6). First, an isothermal flow CFD analysis for a toroidal coil system is performed to optimally predict the local flow field and compared with the available experimental, numerical and analytical results, in which various model assumptions and operating conditions are involved. As a consequence, the heat transfer analysis with constant wall temperature boundary condition has been performed on a toroidal coil. With the verified CFD modeling schemes such as curved geometry creation, mesh/gird density control and solution model selection, the work is extended to the spiral coil system. The effects of Reynolds number and tube diameter to coil curvature ratio on the average friction factor and heat transfer characteristics are investigated for specified coil geometries utilizing water as the heat transfer medium. The general correlations for laminar flow pressure drop and heat transfer applied in a toroidal coil system are compared with the CFD results obtained from the spiral coil systems. It was found that up to 10% of the additional pressure drop and 40% of the enhanced heat transfer characteristics are obtained from the spiral coil system over the toroidal. The heat exchanger effectiveness ratio for spirals and toroids are compared for a range of Dean number. It was found that the spiral heat exchanger effectiveness ratio was between 20 to 30 percent greater than for general toroidal heat exchanger systems.

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