The Solar Air Channels: Comparative Analysis, Introduction of Arc-shaped Fins to Improve the Thermal Transfer

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Unit of Research on Materials and Renewable Energies, Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Abou Bekr Belkaid University, BP 119-13000-Tlemcen, Algeria

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Abou Bekr Belkaid University, BP 230-13000-Tlemcen, Algeria

3 echanical Engineering Department, Prince Sultan Endowment for Energy and Environment, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Al-Khobar 31952, Saudi Arabia

4 RAK Research and Innovation Center, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract

The problem under investigation contains a computational simulation of a specific heat exchanger with complex geometry fins. The problem solved is potentially interesting for researchers and engineers working on solar collectors and aerospace industry. It is known that heat transfer enhancement can be achieved by creating longitudinal vortices in the flow. These vortices can be generated by arc-shaped fins, and a computational analysis of such solar air channels is not a simple task. Therefore, we used a present-day commercial CFD code to solve the problem. The mathematical problem including the main equations and their explanation, as well as the numerical procedure was presented. The impact of arc-fins’ spacings on streamlines and temperature distributions was completely investigated, as well as the heat transfer rate, pressure drop and thermal enhancement factor. The Nusselt number (Nu) and friction loss (f) values of the solar air channel at AR = 1.321 (aspect ratio of channel width-to-height) and S = Pi/2 are found to be around 11.963% and 26.006%; 21.645% and 40.789%; 26.196% and 50.314%; and 30.322% and 58.355% higher than that with S = 3Pi/4, Pi, 5Pi/4 and 3Pi/2, respectively. Importantly, the arc-fins with Re = 12,000 at S = Pi/2 showed higher thermal enhancement performance than the one at S = 3Pi/4, Pi, 5Pi/4 and 3Pi/2 around 2.530%, 6.576%, 6.615% and 6.762%, respectively. This study contains the information which seems to be important for practical engineers.

Keywords

Main Subjects

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