In the current investigation, we performed large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent heat transfer in circular ribbed-pipe flow in order to study the effects of periodically mounted square ribs on heat transfer characteristics. The ribs were implemented on a cylindrical coordinate system by using an immersed boundary method, and dynamic subgrid-scale models were used to model Reynolds stresses and turbulent heat flux terms. A constant and uniform wall heat flux was imposed on all the solid boundaries. The Reynolds number (Re) based on the bulk velocity and pipe diameter is 24,000, and Prandtl number is fixed at Pr = 0.71. The blockage ratio (BR) based on the pipe diameter and rib height is fixed with 0.0625, while the pitch ratio based on the rib interval and rib height is varied with 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 18. Since the pitch ratio is the key parameter that can change flow topology, we focus on its effects on the characteristics of turbulent heat transfer. Mean flow and temperature fields are presented in the form of streamlines and contours. How the surface roughness, manifested by the wall-mounted ribs, affects the mean streamwise-velocity profile was investigated by comparing the roughness function. Local heat transfer distributions between two neighboring ribs were obtained for the pitch ratios under consideration. The flow structures related to heat transfer enhancement were identified. Friction factors and mean heat transfer enhancement factors were calculated from the mean flow and temperature fields, respectively. Furthermore, the friction and heat-transfer correlations currently available in the literature for turbulent pipe flow with surface roughness were revisited and evaluated with the LES data. A simple Nusselt number correlation is also proposed for turbulent heat transfer in ribbed pipe flow.

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