# Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in

Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software

1, 2
Lian Zhang,
1
Yufeng Zhang
1,
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China,
lianzhang2012@yeah.net
2,
School of Electrical and Energy, TianJin Sino-German Vocational Technical College,
Tianjin, China

Abstract
Dedicated ventilation system is an advanced air conditioning system developed in last few years.
There is little research on the design of the system at present. This paper establishes control equation
of flow and temperature field based on the energy transmission theory and simulates heat pipe heat
exchanger dedicated ventilation system using special flow field numerical simulation software. In
pretreatment process of FLUENT, this paper uses unstructured six prisms and parallelepiped grid and
encrypts grid which makes the result of calculation is more accurate. The simulation uses residual of
10-5 high precision to calculate, and obtains the residual convergence curve. Curve analysis shows
that the calculation is very reliable and stable. In post-treatment process, it uses FLUENT results
processing module, obtains the temperature flow pattern of heat exchanger dedicated ventilation
system. We take one of the root canal for analysis. The result shows that the temperature in both sides
of the tube is higher, and the temperature through the tube and close to the wall part is lower. It is
coincide with the actual working condition of tube ventilation and heat dissipation outside the pipe.
This result proves the accuracy of the numerical simulation and provides the reliable theory basis for
the design of heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system.

Keywords: Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger, Dedicated Ventilation System, Unstructured Grid, Process
Control Equation, Energy Transmission Equation, Numerical Calculation of FLUENT

1. Introduction

Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) is an advanced air conditioning systemwhich researched
and developed in recent years. The main characteristic of this system is the mix of a group of advanced
fan systems. Fan system sent low temperature drying air after processing into indoor through the heat
pipe heat exchanger. Latent heat load and thermal load indoor are replaced by cold load. When the heat
load can not completely replaced by cold load, dedicated ventilation system will boot cold take system
to absorb indoor thermal load into dedicated ventilation system and process. Dedicated ventilation
system is designed by laboratory. But cost is too high and time is too long. Numerical simulation is one
of the methods which are commonly used to design thermal system. This used the CFD fluid heat
transfer model, and used FLUENT to simulate the heat transfer process of heat pipe heat exchanger
software dedicated outdoor air system. In this paper, we build the control equation mathematical model
of flow field and solid field and establish energy transmission equation model according to the two
equations and heat transfer theory and simulate and calculate dedicated ventilation system through the
FLUENT pretreatment and post-treatment module and finally analyze the results and give the
temperature distribution which provide the theoretical parameters and technical support for the design
of heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system [1-3].

2. Research methods and findings

2.1 The research objects

Select a Hotel as the study sites, 5 air-conditioning rooms and 5 natural ventilation rooms, and their
areas are 25m2 (5 * 5m), volume is 72.5m3; their internal facilities are basically the same.

Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
Journal of Convergence Information Technology(JCIT)
Volume8, Number9, May 2013
doi:10.4156/jcit.vol8.issue9.32
249
2.2 Research Methods

In each room, select the appropriate test points, and the detection point is set based on room
construction area in the middle between 0.9-1.3m. Total number of bacteria is determined in
accordance with the commonly used methods of bacterial detection, by the use of ordinary plate storm
drain sedimentation method and the prepared ordinary agar medium was placed in the detection point,
storm drain 4-5 minutes, then in accordance with the requirements, finish the research and bring it back
to calculate the total number of bacteria in the laboratory, and cultured for 48 hours at 37 ℃.
In per cubic meter, the total number of bacteria is
3
100
*
5
* 100 *
14 3
N
2
t r .
; N is petri dish of bacteria landing
number; 3.14r2 is plate area, t is the exposure time (minutes). In two detections, one is detection when
cleaning, and another is detection after cleaning.

2.3 The detection time

Noted the time of the hotel guests to get up, to ensure that does not affect the guests to rest and to
get true test data, which is scheduled in the time between 8:00-10:00 am.

2.4 The test results

Detect when the temperature and humidity inside the hotel room was measured according to the
detection and calculation the total number of bacteria of natural ventilation and air conditioning room
at different times, which are shown in Table 1 and Table 2.

Table 1.Total number of bacteria in naturally ventilated and air-conditioned rooms after cleaning
Time
A
m
o
u
nt
air-conditioned rooms naturally ventilated rooms
Average Amount
exceeding
standards
Percentage
/%
Average Amount
exceeding
standars
Percentage
/%
8:30 10 16298 3.08 100.00 15635 2.92 100.00
9:00 10 54576 12.61 334.10 35348 7.82 224.78
9:30 10 36567 8.09 223,52 11465 1.86 72.98
10:30 10 8289 1.07 51.07 5765 0.44 36.52

Table 2. Total number of bacteria in naturally ventilated and air-conditioned rooms before cleaning
Time
A
m
o
u
nt
air-conditioned rooms naturally ventilated rooms
Average Amount
exceeding
standards
Percentage
/%
Average Amount
exceeding
standards
Percentag
e
/%
8:30 10 15012 2.75 100.00 12102 2.02 100.00
9:00 10 13232 2.30 88.17 7236 0.57 52．15
9:30 10 11470 1.88 76.29 6315 0.58 52.16
10:30 10 6735 0.67 44．96 4978 0.24 41.13

3. Establishment of FLUENT heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system
mathematical model

FLUENT software simulation is based on finite difference and finite volume theory. It can
establish mathematical model based on computational fluid mechanics theory and mathematical
differential equation [4-5].

Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
250
3.1 Flow control equation

The basic conservation equation of fluid flow includes mass conservation equation and
momentum conservation equation.
① Mass conservation equation
In the rectangular coordinates system, it can write as:

1,2,3 j 0
) (
= =
c
c
+
c
c
j
j
y
v a
b
a

(1)

In which a is fluid density; b is computing time; v is velocity component.
②momentum conservation equation
The power conservation equation of fluid can be represented as follows by using Navier -
Stokes equation:

i
i j
i
j
j i
j
i
D
y
Q
y
v
v
y
a
v av
y
a
b
v a
+
c
c
÷
c
c
c
c
=
c
c
+
c
c
) (
) (
） （
(2)

In this equation,
i
v ,
j
v and
i
y ,
j
y are velocity components and coordinate components of
fluid; Q is fluid pressure; v µ µ = is motion viscosity coefficient of fluid;
i
D is Generalized
source term.

3.2 The energy equation

FLUENT can do the heat transfer analysis by activating energy transmission module which is
as shown in Figure 1[6-7].

Figure 1. Energy transmission module

FLUENT calculates the energy equation as follows:

dS w q dS gz
w
v aw dV gz
w
v a
a
CS
n
CS
n
kV

}} }} }}}
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + +
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
c
c
2 2
2 2
(3)

In which, g is acceleration of gravity. z is z coordinate value; S is calculation area;
n
q is
Normal pressure [8].

Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
251
}} }} }}
+ ÷ =
CS CS
n
CS
n
dS w dS qw dS w q t
 
(4)

The internal and external fluid temperature of heat pipe heat exchanger can be determined as
formula.

0
2 2
2 2
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + + +
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
}} }}}
ds
a
q
gz
w
v aw dV gz
w
v a
kS
n
kV
(4)

Fluid temperature calculation formula of inside and outside of heat pipe heat exchanger pipe
can be identified as:

G t m al w al
b
+ V - V = - V +
c
c
) ( ) ( ) ( (6)

In which, l is
}
t
trd
p
dt m ; m is heat conductivity; t is temperature. G is solid heat source.

4. Numerical simulation of FLUENT heat exchanger dedicated ventilation
system

FLUENT software is the most popular CFD software on the market at present. Its share reached
60% in the American market. The online survey found that FLUENT is CFD software which is also
widely used in China. Heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system model is simulated as
shown in Figure 2 [9-10].

Figure 2. Heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system model

Mainly analyzes parameters of heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system is shown in
Table 3.
Table 3. Main parameters
Flow /(m
3
/h) Re Pu1 Pu2
73.2 5.08e3 20.3 23.1
108.5 5.10 e3 21.2 23.5
120.3 5.12 e3 21.8 23.8
125.6 5.14 e3 22.5 24.2
130.4 5.15 e3 22.9 24.6
Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
252
In Table 3, it lists the ventilation flow of per hour and Reynolds number. It gives two in case
coefficient. We can set calculation through these parameters in FLUENT.

4.1 Grid partition

FLUET software provides two forms of grid division, and one is unstructured grid, the other is
structured grid. Structured grid generally applied in flow field calculation and other large eddy
simulations, and the grid is regular and the flow field distribution is close to actual situation.
Unstructured grid used to divide model complex structure grid which can apply to calculate
engineering example which gradient is great change. In this paper, the heat pipe heat exchanger
dedicated ventilation system model is more complex, so we used the unstructured grid and the grid
combined of hexahedron and hexagonal prisms which is shown in following figure. We encrypt grid
around each root of heat exchange tube which makes the result of calculation more accurate [11-12].

Figure 3. Schematic diagram of grid partition

4.2 Design of boundary condition

Setting of flow field boundary conditions [13-14]:
Speed entry: inlet;
Free exports: outflow;
Wall surface: wall;
Other wall default: wall;
Solver and turbulence model:
Turbulence model use: K - e model.
Separate Solver (Segregated Solver);
Unsteady Formulation: 2 nd - Order Implicit;
Temperature interpolation method: Pressure Second;
Temperature field coupling mode: SIMPLEC algorithm.
Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
253

Figure 4. Calculating residual curve

The default setting of residual curve is 10-3. In the calculation, display residual curve will see that
the value will change after each calculation. Until the residual value is lower than the setting value, the
calculation is convergence. Residual value points to the difference of results after every calculation and
the last calculation. We can see from figure that curve goes down in fifty - 200 steps and is stable in
10-5 which indicates that the calculation results are reliable [15-17].

Research on Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger in Dedicated Ventilation System Based on FLUENT Software
Lian Zhang, Yufeng Zhang
254

Figure 5. Temperature profile

As shown in the photo, the temperature of blue part is lower, and red part is higher. We can take a
piece of pipe to study and analyze. According to the simulation results, we can know that two
temperatures of dedicated ventilation system heat exchange tube are higher. The temperature of
intermediate ventilation pipe is lower due to the initial wind cooling. The highest temperature can
reach 350 k, and the minimum temperature is 300 k which is the initial temperature [18-22].

5. Conclusions

This paper analyzes a new type of heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system. Firstly,
it establishes the flow field and solid field control equation mathematical model based on
computational fluid dynamics CFD theory. Then it established energy transport equation through the
FLUENT energy transmission module. It simulates heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation
system, and got the calculated residual map and temperature flow field distribution. Through the
residual analysis, we find that calculation meets the requirements of high precision calculation. The
temperature of ventilation tube and the wall is lower. The highest temperature is 350 k, and the
minimum temperature is the initial temperature of 300k. The temperature outside the tube is higher
which is coinciding with the temperature field distribution of actual working condition. This paper used
the method of numerical simulation to design and research the heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated
ventilation system. It breaks the pattern of big experimental period and high cost brought by
experimental research institute. It provides a forward-looking theory method and data reference for the
design of heat pipe heat exchanger dedicated ventilation system.

6. Acknowledgements

The foundation of TianJ in Sino-German Vocational Technical College (zdkt2012-046).

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