Experiments were performed to determine the combined-mode natural convection/radiation heat transfer characteristics of highly populated arrays of rodlike cylindrical fins (i.e., pin fins). The fins were oriented with their axes horizontal and were attached to a vertical heated baseplate. The investigated parameters included the number of fins in the array, the fin length and diameter, the baseplate-to-ambient temperature difference, and the presence or absence of adjacent shrouding surfaces. Finning was found to be highly enhancing (up to a sixfold increase in heat transfer), and even the longest fins were highly efficient. When the number of fins was increased for fixed values of the other parameters, the heat transfer increased at first, attained a maximum, and then decreased. Arrays having different diameter fins yielded about the same performance when the surface area of the fin-baseplate assembly was held fixed. Shrouding surfaces positioned close to the array decreased the rate of heat transfer. Calculations showed that the contribution of radiation was substantial and was greatest for more populous arrays, for longer fins, and at small temperature differences.

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