Abstract

Cooling of heavy-duty electrical machines such as generators and motors is crucial for smooth operations without thermal runaway. A commonly employed technique for cooling of rotors in these machines is to place channels at different radial locations for the continuous passage of coolant. These channels are therefore rotating about a parallel axis, and the rotation-induced forces alter the flow and thermal behaviour of the coolant compared to stationary channels. The present study reports a detailed numerical investigation on a long circular channel rotating about a parallel axis. The objective is to analyze the flow, heat transfer, and rotation-induced forces (Coriolis and centrifugal forces) in the entry region as well as in the region where flow is stable (the term ‘stable’ is used rather than ‘developed’ due to the presence of secondary flows in this region). The rotating channel was subjected to constant wall heat flux and constant wall temperature conditions at different Rotation numbers of 0, 0.15, 0.4, and 0.6. The Coriolis force is strong enough in the entry region to influence the flow. In the “stable flow” region, the centrifugal force becomes more dominant and forms counter-rotating secondary vortex pair, which causes circumferential variation in the Nusselt number. The flow and heat transfer characteristics for constant wall heat flux and wall temperature boundaries are the same for conditions with similar values of rotational Grashof number. A correlation is presented for the circumferential variation of the Nusselt number in the stable flow region.

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