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Volume Averaging Theory (VAT) based modeling and closure evaluation for fin-and-tube heat exchangers

  • Author(s): Zhou, Feng
  • Catton, Ivan
  • et al.

A fin-and-tube heat exchanger was modeled based on Volume Averaging Theory (VAT) in such a way that the details of the original structure was replaced by their averaged counterparts, so that the VAT based governing equations can be efficiently solved for a wide range of parameters. To complete the VAT based model, proper closure is needed, which is related to a local friction factor and a heat transfer coefficient of a Representative Elementary Volume (REV). The terms in the closure expressions are complex and sometimes relating experimental data to the closure terms is difficult. In this work we use CFD to evaluate the rigorously derived closure terms over one of the selected REVs. The objective is to show how heat exchangers can be modeled as a porous media and how CFD can be used in place of a detailed, often formidable, experimental effort to obtain closure for the model.

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