Concentric tube heat exchangers are vital in various industrial applications, including chemical, process, energy, mechanical, and aeronautical engineering. Advancements in heat transfer efficiency present a significant challenge in contemporary research and development. This study concerns optimizing flow and heat transfer in concentric tube heat exchangers by morphing the tube's walls. The adjoint shape optimization approach is implemented in a fully turbulent flow regime. The effect of inner tube deformation on flow physics and heat transfer is examined. The results show that morphing can lead to a 54% increase in the heat transfer rate and a 47% improvement in the overall heat transfer coefficient compared to straight concentric tube designs. Moreover, the thermal-hydraulic performance factor is calculated to account for the relative increase in heat transfer when the optimal and initial designs are operated under the same pumping power. A thermal-hydraulic performance factor of 1.2 is obtained for the new design, showing that the heat transfer enhancement caused by morphing the tube's walls outweighs the increase in pumping power. The physics of a radial flow, resulting from an adverse pressure gradient in an annular region caused by the successive inner tube deformation, significantly augments heat transfer. This study shows morphing can lead to higher thermal efficiencies, and numerical optimization can assist in achieving this goal.
Morphing optimization of flow and heat transfer in concentric tube heat exchangers
Samer Ali, Talib Dbouk, Mahmoud Khaled, Jalal Faraj, Dimitris Drikakis; Morphing optimization of flow and heat transfer in concentric tube heat exchangers. Physics of Fluids 1 September 2023; 35 (9): 095127. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0159144
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