The main objective of the present work was the derivation of heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics for pin fins which could be applied in heat exchangers used in the automobile industry. For this, 34 models of pin fin heat exchangers, characterized by a pin diameter of 0.35 mm, with both inline and staggered arrangements, were numerically investigated. The numerical results were validated through various comparison and validation procedures. The best performing pin fin configuration was determined by employing the performance plot: heat transfer per unit volume (or per unit area, if the pin height is constant) versus the energy input reduced to the same parameter as the heat transfer (volume or area). The heat exchanger performance plot showed that, for the investigated flow length, the staggered pin fin configuration performs better when compared to the inline arrangement. In order to prove the industrial applicability of these results, a louvered fin heat exchanger, commonly used as a car radiator, was experimentally investigated. A comparison of the best performing pin fin heat exchanger with the louvered fin model revealed an enhancement in the heat transfer of the pin fin model of 35%.

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