In this paper, four basic fins of the plate-fin heat exchangers, rectangular plain fin, strip offset fin, perforated fin, and wavy fin, are modeled and simulated by taking account of fin thickness, thermal entry effect, and end effect. Three-dimensional numerical simulations on the flow and heat transfer in the four fins are investigated and carried out at laminar flow regime. Validity of the modeling technique is verified by comparing computational results with both corresponding experimental data and three empirical correlations from literatures. Global average Colburn factor (j factor) and friction factor (f factor) and their local 1D streamwise-average distributions along the fins are presented by introducing data reduction method. The heat transfer behaviors in both the developing and developed regions are analyzed by examining variations of the local Nusselt number along the flow direction. It is found that the thermal entry length of the four fins might be expressed in the format of Le=c1Rec2PrDh, which has the same form as the one in a circular tube.

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