Heat transfer characteristics of a three-pass serpentine flow passage with rotation are experimentally studied. The walls of the square flow passage are plated with thin stainless-steel foils through which electrical current is applied to generate heat. The local heat transfer performance on the four side walls of the three straight flow passages and two turning elbows are determined for both stationary and rotating cases. The throughflow Reynolds, Rayleigh (centrifugal type), and rotation numbers are varied. It is revealed that three-dimensional flow structures cause the heat transfer rate at the bends to be substantially higher than at the straight flow passages. This mechanism is revealed by means of a flow visualization experiment for a nonrotating case. Along the first straight flow passage, the heat transfer rate is increased on the trailing surface but is reduced on the leading surface, due to the action of secondary streams induced by the Coriolis force. At low Reynolds numbers, the local heat transfer performance is primarily a function of buoyancy force. In the higher Reynolds number range, however, the circumferentially averaged Nusselt number is only a weak function of the Rayleigh and rotation numbers.

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