Evaluating the heat transfer and pressure drop in the transitional flow regime for a horizontal circular tube fitted with wavy-tape inserts

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCES(2024)

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Abstract
Much research is available to support the thermo-hydraulic characteristics of heat exchanger tubes in laminar and turbulent flow regimes. However, very little work is available to support the thermohydraulic characteristics of heat exchangers in transition flow regimes, especially in turbulators. Therefore, this research experimentally evaluated the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of a circular tube fitted with wavy-tape inserts in the transition flow regime. Experiments were conducted in a circular tube having an internal diameter of 20 mm and a length of 2000 mm and the Reynolds number varied from 533 to 7002. The Nusselt number and friction factor for a smooth tube are validated by comparison with published research works in the laminar and turbulent flow regimes. A total of nine wavy tape inserts with different wave and width ratios were investigated. To determine the variation of Nusselt number and friction factor, three constant heat fluxes (q = 1, 2, and 3 kW/m2) were applied to the test section. The laminar, transition, and turbulent regimes were marked and identified by using the linear best-fit line method for all the cases considered during the investigation. The results obtained from the study showed a shift in the boundaries of laminar, transition, and turbulent flow regimes. For smooth tube with 1 kW/m2 heat flux, the transition starts and ends at Reynolds number 2202 and 3 804, respectively. It was also revealed that the onset of transition occurred further earlier when tapes were used. The boundaries of transition also shifted with a change in the constant heat flux condition. For wavy tape having w = 0.75, d = 0.8, the transition begins at Reynolds number 2 193, 2 021, 2029 and ends at 4 016, 3 997, 3989 for heat flux 1, 2 and 3 kW/m2, respectively. The transition began earlier for lower values of heat flux, while for higher values, the transition limit was delayed compared with that of lower heat flux. The boundary of transition also shifted with wave ratio and width ratio. An increase in wave and width ratios altogether delayed the start and end of the transition. Correlations were also developed to predict the Nusselt number and friction factor in laminar and turbulent flow regime.
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Key words
Heat transfer enhancement,Transition flow regime (TFR),Wavy tape,Vortex generator,Thermal performance
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