The present work is performed to evaluate the heat transfer performance of a heat exchanger used in a direct methanol fuel cell. Because of material constraints and performance requirements, a louver fin heat exchanger is modified for use with conventional microchannel tubes and also with multiple small-diameter tubes (called multitubes). Prototype heat exchangers are tested, and the air-side heat transfer, pressure drop, and fan power are measured in a wind tunnel and simulated using a commercial code. The air-side pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient of the multitubes show similar trends to those of the flat-tube heat exchanger if the contact resistance is negligible. The tube spacing of the prototype multitube heat exchangers has a small effect on the pressure drop and heat transfer, but it has a profound effect on the air-side heat transfer performance because of the contact resistance between the tubes and louver fins. The air-side pressure drop agrees well with an empirical correlation for flat tubes.

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