Experiments were performed to determine entrance-region and fully developed heat transfer characteristics for turbulent airflow in an unsymmetrically heated equilateral triangular duct; friction factors were also measured. Two of the walls were heated while the third was not directly heated. The resulting thermal boundary conditions consisted of uniform heating per unit axial length and circumferentially uniform temperature on the heated walls. Special techniques were employed to minimize extraneous heat losses, and numerical finite-difference solutions played an important role in both the design of the apparatus and in the data reduction. The thermal entrance lengths required to attain thermally developed conditions were found to increase markedly with the Reynolds number and were generally greater than those for conventional pipe flows—a behavior which can be attributed to the unsymmetric heating. The fully developed Nusselt numbers were compared with circular tube correlations from the literature, from which it was shown that the hydraulic diameter is not fully sufficient to rationalize the circular and noncircular duct results. However, excellent Nusselt number predictions were obtained by employing the Petukhov-Popou correlation in conjunction with the measured friction factors for the triangular duct. This approach may have general applicability for predicting noncircular duct heat transfer. The friction factor results also affirmed the inadequacies of the hydraulic diameter but supported a general noncircular duct correlation available in the literature.

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