Thermo-hydraulic analysis of helically grooved heat exchanger tubes – running

Grooved tubes are often used instead of smooth pipes in modern heat exchangers. As grooved tubes usually have higher heat transfer coefficients, they are very important for the economy and the environment. However grooved tubes demand more power from the pumps due to the increase in the skin friction.
The goal of the research is to find an optimal groove shape. We will focus on helically grooved heat exchanger tubes. Through optimization of groove geometry, the inside heat transfer coefficient can be improved by 1.5-2 times in comparison to smooth tubes. The pressure drop increases only slightly compared to conventional smooth tubes, bringing about no problems of practical importance.
Computer simulations will be performed to study important phenomena related to heat exchange and skin friction. Modelling is based on a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology using a free and open-source software, OpenFOAM.

Project owner:
Hernádi Zoltán Tamás (Áramlástan Tanszék)
Web address:
Áramlástan Tanszék (GPK-ARA)