Hydrodynamic Behavior in Solar Oil Heat Exchanger Ducts Fitted ‎with Staggered Baffles and Fins

Document Type : Research Paper


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 Faculty of Engineering, Kuwait College of Science and Technology, Doha, Kuwait‎

3 Department of Technology, University Centre of Naama, P.O. Box 66, Naama 45000, Algeria

4 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran


The attachment of turbulators, such as baffles, fins, ribs, bars, and blocks, inside the thermal solar receiver ducts, is among the most effective mechanisms for important thermal exchange by creating the turbulence, extending the trajectory of the flow, increasing the surface of heat exchange, forcing recycling cells, and hence a high thermal exchange. The solar finned and baffled heat exchangers are employed in a wide application interval, and it is important to examine the design of a duct for this configuration of the flow field and its effect on the heat transport phenomenon. In This study, dynamic field simulations are reported in horizontal rectangular form ducts, using three obstacles with oil HTF (heat transfer fluid). Two various finned and baffled duct configurations are treated, i.e., case (A) with one fin and two baffles, and case (B) with two fins and one baffle. Different hydrodynamic fields, i.e., X-velocity and Y-speed, as well as various X-velocity profiles in many flow stations, related to Re value, are analyzed. A computational approach is applied in order to simulate the oil flow, using finite volume (FV) integration method, SIMPLE discretization algorithm, QUICK interpolation scheme, Standard k-epsilon turbulence model, and ANSYS FLUENT 12.0 software. Simulation results reported an unstable flow structure, with powerful recycling cells, on the backsides of each fin and baffle, as a result of fluid detachment at their upper front sharp edges, in both studied models (A and B). As expected, the first duct model, i.e., Case A, has better X- and Y-velocity values, due to its large recirculation regions. In This paper, many physical phenomena, such as the turbulence, instability, flow separation, and the appearance of reverse secondary currents, are reported. As its data confirmed by many previous numerical and experimental results, the suggested new models of finned and baffled heat exchangers filled with high thermal conductivity oil, allow an improvement in the dynamic thermal-energy behavior of many thermal devices such as flat plate solar collectors.


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