Abstract

The rib arrangement has an important influence on the pressure drop and heat transfer performance of a microchannel heat exchanger (MHE) with circular reentrant cavities and ribs. In this study, four kinds of MHEs with circular reentrant cavity and ribs were designed, namely, circular reentrant cavities (circular), circular reentrant cavities and single-sided ribs (circular—single), circular reentrant cavities and odd-symmetric ribs (circular—odd), and circular reentrant cavities and double symmetric ribs (circular—double). The effect of the rib arrangement on the pressure drop and heat transfer performance of MHEs was numerically investigated by ansysfluent 15.0. The experimental platform was then designed and built for the subsequent experimental verification. The results showed that the pressure drop between the inlet and outlet of the MHE with circular reentrant cavities and ribs increased as the inlet flow increased. At the same inlet flowrate, the pressure drop between the inlet and outlet of the MHEs was largest for the circular reentrant cavities and double symmetric ribs, followed by the circular reentrant cavities and odd-symmetric ribs, circular reentrant cavities and single-sided ribs, and the circular reentrant cavities. The presence of the rib structure increased the inlet and outlet pressure drop of the MHE. The MHE with circular reentrant cavities and double symmetric ribs had the largest inlet and outlet pressure drop, followed by that with circular reentrant cavities and odd-symmetric ribs, that with circular reentrant cavities and single-sided ribs, and that with circular reentrant cavities, indicating that the latter exhibited the best pressure drop performance. At the same inlet flowrate, the MHE with circular reentrant cavities had the highest hot water outlet temperature and the MHE with circular reentrant cavities and double symmetric ribs had the lowest temperature, whereas the results were the opposite for the cold-water outlet temperature. This indicates that the heat transfer performance was best for the MHE with circular reentrant cavities and double symmetric ribs, followed by that with circular reentrant cavities and odd-symmetric ribs and that with circular reentrant cavities and single-sided ribs.

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