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# EXTENDED SURFACES / FINS

## Convection: Heat transfer between a solid surface and a moving

fluid is governed by the Newton’s cooling law: q = hA(Ts-T∞).
Therefore, to increase the convective heat transfer, one can

##  Increase the temperature difference (Ts-T∞) between the

surface and the fluid.

##  Increase the convection coefficient h. This can be

accomplished by increasing the fluid flow over the surface since
h is a function of the flow velocity and the higher the velocity,
the higher the h. Example: a cooling fan.

##  Increase the contact surface area A. Example: a heat sink

with fins.
Extended Surface Analysis

## Tb P: the fin perimeter

Ac: the fin cross-sectional area

dq x
q x = − kAC
dT q x + dx = qx + dx
dx dx

## dq conv = h( dAS )(T − T∞ ), where dA S is the surface area of the element

dq x
Energy Balance: q x = q x + dx + dq conv = q x + dx + hdAS (T − T∞ )
dx
d 2T
− kAC 2
dx + hP(T − T∞ )dx = 0, if k, A C are all constants.
dx
Extended Surface Analysis
(contd….)
d 2 T hP
2
− (T − T∞ ) = 0, A second - order, ordinary differential equation
dx kAC
Define a new variable θ ( x ) = T ( x ) − T∞ , so that
d 2θ hP
2
− m 2
θ = 0, where m 2
= , ( D 2
− m 2
)θ = 0
dx kAC
Characteristics equation with two real roots: + m & - m
The general solution is of the form
θ ( x ) = C1e mx + C2 e − mx
To evaluate the two constants C 1 and C 2 , we need to specify
two boundary conditions:
The first one is obvious: the base temperature is known as T(0) = Tb
The second condition will depend on the end condition of the tip
Extended Surface Analysis (contd...)

dθ/dx(x=L)=0

## The temperature distribution is given by

T ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh m( L − x )
= =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mL
The fin heat transfer rate is
dT
q f = − kAC ( x = 0) = hPkAC tanh mL = M tanh mL
dx
These results and other solutions using different end conditions are
tabulated in Table 3.4 in HT textbook, p. 118.
Temperature distribution for fins of
different configurations
Case Tip Condition Temp. Distribution Fin heat transfer
A Convection heat cosh m( L − x ) + ( h ) sinh m( L − x ) sinh mL + ( h ) cosh mL
transfer: mk Mθo mk
hθ(L)=-k(dθ/dx)x=L cosh mL + ( h ) sinh mL cosh mL + ( h ) sinh mL
mk mk

## B Adiabatic cosh m( L − x ) Mθ 0 tanh mL

(dθ/dx)x=L=0 cosh mL
(θ L (cosh mL − θ L
C Given temperature:
) sinh m( L − x ) + sinh m( L − x )
θ(L)= θL θb θb )
Mθ 0
sinh mL sinh mL

## D Infinitely long fin e − mx M θ0

θ(L)=0
hP
θ ≡ T − T∞ , m2 ≡
kAC
θ b = θ (0) = Tb − T∞ , M = hPkAC θ b
Example

## An Aluminum pot is used to boil water as shown below. The

handle of the pot is 20-cm long, 3-cm wide, and 0.5-cm thick.
The pot is exposed to room air at 25°C, and the convection
coefficient is 5 W/m2 °C. Question: can you touch the handle
when the water is boiling? (k for aluminum is 237 W/m °C)

T∞ = 25 °C
h = 5 W/ m2 °C

100 °C
Example (contd...)
We can model the pot handle as an extended surface. Assume
that there is no heat transfer at the free end of the handle. The
condition matches that specified in the fins Table, case B.
h=5 W/ m2 °C, P=2W+2t=2(0.03+0.005)=0.07(m), k=237 W/m
°C, AC=Wt=0.00015(m2), L=0.2(m)
Therefore, m=(hP/kAC)1/2=3.138,
M=√(hPkAC)(Tb-T∞)=0.111θb=0.111(100-25)=8.325(W)
T ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh m( L − x )
= =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mL
T − 25 . (0.2 − x )]
cosh[3138
= ,
100 − 25 cosh(3138
. * 0.2)
T ( x ) = 25 + 62.32 * cosh[3138
. (0.2 − x )]
Example (contd…)
Plot the temperature distribution along the pot handle
100

95
T( x )

90

85
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
x

## As shown, temperature drops off very quickly. At the midpoint

T(0.1)=90.4°C. At the end T(0.2)=87.3°C.
Therefore, it should not be safe to touch the end of the handle
Example (contd...)
The total heat transfer through the handle can be calculated
also. qf=Mtanh(mL)=8.325*tanh(3.138*0.2)=4.632(W)
Very small amount: latent heat of evaporation for water: 2257
kJ/kg. Therefore, the amount of heat loss is just enough to
vaporize 0.007 kg of water in one hour.

## If a stainless steel handle is used instead, what will happen:

For a stainless steel, the thermal conductivity k=15 W/m°C.
Use the same parameter as before:
1/ 2
⎛ hP ⎞
m = ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ = 12.47, M = hPkAC = 0.0281
⎝ kAC ⎠
Example (contd...)
T ( x ) − T∞ cosh m( L − x )
=
Tb − T∞ cosh mL
T ( x ) = 25 + 12.3 cosh[12.47( L − x )]
100

75

T( x) 50

25

0
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
x

## Temperature at the handle (x=0.2 m) is only 37.3 °C, not hot at

all. This example illustrates the important role played by the
thermal conductivity of the material in terms of conductive heat
transfer.
Fins-2
If the pot from previous lecture is made of other materials other
than the aluminum, what will be the temperature distribution? Try
stainless steel (k=15 W/m.K) and copper (385 W/m.K).
Recall: h=5W/m2°C, P=2W+2t=2(0.03+0.005)=0.07(m)
AC=Wt=0.00015(m2), L=0.2(m)
Therefore, mss=(hP/kAC)1/2=12.47, mcu=2.46
Mss=√(hPkssAC) (Tb-T∞)=0.028(100-25)=2.1(W)
Mcu= √(hPkssAC) θb=0.142(100-25)=10.66(W)

Tss ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh m( L − x )
For stainless steel, = =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mL
Tss − 25 cosh[12.47(0.2 − x )]
= ,
100 − 25 cosh(12.47 * 0.2)
Tss ( x ) = 25 + 12.3 * cosh[12.47(0.2 − x )]
Fins-2 (contd....)
Tcu ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh m( L − x )
For copper, = =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mL
Tcu − 25 cosh[2.46(0.2 − x )]
= ,
100 − 25 cosh(2.46 * 0.2)
Tcu ( x ) = 25 + 66.76 * cosh[2.46(0.2 − x )]
100

95
T( x ) copper
90
T ss( x ) aluminum
85
T cu( x )
80 stainless steel
75
0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2
x
Fins-2 (contd...)

##  Inside the handle of the stainless steel pot, temperature drops

quickly. Temperature at the end of the handle is 37.3°C. This is
because the stainless steel has low thermal conductivity and heat
can not penetrate easily into the handle.
 Copper has the highest k and, correspondingly, the temperature
inside the copper handle distributes more uniformly. Heat easily
transfers into the copper handle.
 Question? Which material is most suitable to be used in a heat
sink?
Fins-2 (contd...)
 How do we know the adiabatic tip assumption is good? Try
using the convection heat transfer condition at the tip (case A in
fins table) We will use the aluminum pot as the example.
h=5 W/m2.K, k=237 W/m.K, m=3.138, M=8.325W

Long equation

T ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh[ m( L − x )] + (h / mk )sinh[ m( L − x )]
= =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mL + (h / mk )sinh mL
. (0.2 − x )] + 0.00672 sinh[3138
cosh[3138 . (0.2 − x )]
=
cosh(0.6276) + 0.00672 sinh(0.6276)
T ( x ) = 25 + 62.09{cosh(0.6276 − 3138
. x ) + 0.00672 sinh(0.6276 − 3138
. x )}
Fins-2 (contd….)
100
96.25
T( x )
Tc: convective tip
92.5
T c( x )

88.75
T(0.2)=87.32 °C
85 Tc(0.2)=87.09 °C
0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2
x

## Note 1: Convective tip case has a slightly lower tip temperature

as expected since there is additional heat transfer at the tip.
Note 2: There is no significant difference between these two
solutions, therefore, correct choice of boundary condition is not
that important here. However, sometimes correction might be
needed to compensate the effect of convective heat transfer at
the end. (especially for thick fins)
Fins-2 (contd...)
 In some situations, it might be necessary to include the
convective heat transfer at the tip. However, one would like to
avoid using the long equation as described in case A, fins table.
The alternative is to use case B instead and accounts for the
convective heat transfer at the tip by extending the fin length L to
LC=L+(t/2).
With convection LC=L+t/2 Insulation

## Original fin length L t/2

L
Then apply the adiabatic condition at the tip of the extended fin as
shown above.
Fins-2 (contd...)

## Use the same example: aluminum pot handle, m=3.138, the

length will need to be corrected to
LC=l+(t/2)=0.2+0.0025=0.2025(m)

Tcorr ( x ) - T∞ θ cosh m( Lc − x )
= =
Tb − T∞ θb cosh mLc
Tcorr − 25 cosh[3138 . (0.2025 − x )]
= ,
100 − 25 cosh(3138
. * 0.2025)
Tcorr ( x ) = 25 + 62.05 * cosh[3138
. (0.2025 − x )]
Fins-2 (contd...)

100

96.25
T(0.2)=87.32 °C
T( x)
Tc(0.2)=87.09 °C
T c( x) 92.5 Tcorr(0.2025)=87.05 °C
T corr( x)
88.75 slight improvement
over the uncorrected
85 solution
0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2
Correction Length

##  The correction length can be determined by using the formula:

Lc=L+(Ac/P), where Ac is the cross-sectional area and P is the
perimeter of the fin at the tip.

##  Thin rectangular fin: Ac=Wt, P=2(W+t)≈2W, since t << W

Lc=L+(Ac/P)=L+(Wt/2W)=L+(t/2)

##  Square fin: Ac=W2, P=4W,

Lc=L+(Ac/P)=L+(W2/4W)=L+(W/4)
Optimal Length of a Fin
 In general, the longer the fin, the higher the heat transfer.
However, a long fin means more material and increased size and
cost. Question: how do we determine the optimal fin length?
Use the rectangular fin as an example:
1 q f = M tanh mL, for an adiabatic tip fin
0.8 ( q f ) ∞ = M , for an infinitely long fin
0.6 qf
R( mL ) Their ratio: R(mL)= = tanh mL
0.4 ( q f )∞
0.2 Note: heat transfer increases with mL
0 as expected. Initially the rate of
0 1 2 3 4
mL
change is large and slows down
drastically when mL> 2.
R(1)=0.762, means any increase beyond mL=1 will increase no
more than 23.8% of the fin heat transfer.
Temperature Distribution
For an adiabatic tip fin case:
¾ Use m=5, and L=0.2
T − T∞ cosh m( L − x ) as an example:
Rθ = =
Tb − T∞ cosh mL
High ΔT, good fin heat transfer Low ΔT, poor fin heat transfer

1
1

R θ ( x ) 0.8

0.648054
0.6
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0 x 0.2
Correction Length for a Fin with a

##  The correction length can be determined by using the formula:

Lc=L+(Ac/P), where Ac is the cross-sectional area and P is the
perimeter of the fin at the tip.

##  Thin rectangular fin: Ac=Wt, P=2(W+t)≈2W, since t << W

Lc=L+(Ac/P)=L+(Wt/2W)=L+(t/2)

##  Square fin: Ac=W2, P=4W,

Lc=L+(Ac/P)=L+(W2/4W)=L+(W/4)
Fin Design
T∞
Total heat loss: qf=Mtanh(mL) for an
Tb adiabatic fin, or qf=Mtanh(mLC) if there is
convective heat transfer at the tip
hP
where m= , and M= hPkA Cθ b = hPkA C (Tb − T∞ )
kAc
Use the thermal resistance concept:
(T − T )
q f = hPkA C tanh( mL)(Tb − T∞ ) = b ∞
Rt , f
where Rt , f is the thermal resistance of the fin.
For a fin with an adiabatic tip, the fin resistance can be expressed as
(Tb − T∞ ) 1
Rt , f = =
qf hPkA C [tanh(mL)]
Fin Effectiveness
How effective a fin can enhance heat transfer is characterized by the
fin effectiveness εf: Ratio of fin heat transfer and the heat transfer
without the fin. For an adiabatic fin:
qf qf hPkA C tanh(mL) kP
εf = = = = tanh( mL)
q hAC (Tb − T∞ ) hAC hAC
If the fin is long enough, mL>2, tanh(mL) → 1,
it can be considered an infinite fin (case D of table3.4)
kP k⎛ P ⎞
εf → = ⎜ ⎟
hAC h ⎝ AC ⎠
In order to enhance heat transfer, ε f > 1.
However, ε f ≥ 2 will be considered justifiable
If ε f <1 then we have an insulator instead of a heat fin
Fin Effectiveness
(contd...)
kP k⎛ P ⎞
εf → = ⎜ ⎟
hAC h ⎝ AC ⎠

##  To increase εf, the fin’s material should have higher thermal

conductivity, k.
 It seems to be counterintuitive that the lower convection
coefficient, h, the higher εf. But it is not because if h is very high,
it is not necessary to enhance heat transfer by adding heat fins.
Therefore, heat fins are more effective if h is low. Observation: If
fins are to be used on surfaces separating gas and liquid. Fins are
usually placed on the gas side. (Why?)
Fin Effectiveness
(contd...)

##  P/AC should be as high as possible. Use a square fin with

a dimension of W by W as an example: P=4W, AC=W2,
P/AC=(4/W). The smaller W, the higher the P/AC, and the
higher εf.

##  Conclusion: It is preferred to use thin and closely spaced

(to increase the total number) fins.
Fin Effectiveness (contd...)

## The effectiveness of a fin can also be characterized as

qf qf (Tb − T∞ ) / Rt , f Rt ,h
εf = = = =
q hAC (Tb − T∞ ) (Tb − T∞ ) / Rt ,h Rt , f
It is a ratio of the thermal resistance due to convection to
the thermal resistance of a fin. In order to enhance heat transfer,
the fin's resistance should be lower than that of the resistance
due only to convection.
Fin Efficiency

qf
Define Fin efficiency: η f =
q max
where q max represents an idealized situation such that the fin is made up
of material with infinite thermal conductivity. Therefore, the fin should
be at the same temperature as the temperature of the base.
q max = hA f (Tb − T∞ )
Fin Efficiency
(contd…)

For infinite k
T(x)<Tb for heat transfer T(x)=Tb, the heat transfer
to take place is maximum

Tb
x x
Total fin heat transfer qf Ideal heat transfer qmax

## Real situation Ideal situation

Fin Efficiency (cont.)
Use an adiabatic rectangular fin as an example:
qf M ta n h m L h P k A c ( T b − T ∞ ) ta n h m L
η = = =
h A f (Tb − T∞ ) h P L (Tb − T∞ )
f
q m ax
ta n h m L ta n h m L
= = ( s e e T a b le 3 .5 f o r η f o f c o m m o n f in s )
hP mL
L
k Ac
T h e f in h e a t tr a n s f e r : q f = η f q m a x = η f h A f ( T b − T ∞ )
Tb − T∞ T − T∞ 1
qf = = b , w h ere Rt, f =
1 /(η f h A f ) Rt, f η f hA f
T h e r m a l r e s is ta n c e f o r a s in g le f in .
1
A s c o m p a r e d to c o n v e c tiv e h e a t tr a n s f e r : R t , b =
h Ab
In o r d e r to h a v e a lo w e r r e s is ta n c e a s th a t is r e q u ir e d to
e n h a n c e h e a t tr a n s f e r : R t , b > R t , f o r A b < η f A f
Overall Fin Efficiency

## Define terms: Ab: base area exposed to coolant

qf
Af: surface area of a single fin
qb At: total area including base area and total
finned surface, At=Ab+NAf
N: total number of fins
Overall Fin Efficiency
(contd…)

## qt = qb + Nqf = hAb (Tb − T∞ ) + Nη f hAf (Tb − T∞ )

= h[( At − NAf ) + Nη f Af ](Tb − T∞ ) = h[ At − NAf (1 −η f )](Tb − T∞ )
NAf
= hAt [1 − (1 −η f )](Tb − T∞ ) = ηOhAt (Tb − T∞ )
At
NAf
Define overall fin efficiency: ηO = 1 − (1 −η f )
At
Heat Transfer from a Fin
Array

Tb − T∞ 1
qt = hAtηO (Tb − T∞ ) = where Rt ,O =
Rt ,O hAtηO
Compare to heat transfer without fins
1
q = hA(Tb − T∞ ) = h( Ab + NAb, f )(Tb − T∞ ) =
hA
where Ab,f is the base area (unexposed) for the fin
To enhance heat transfer AtηO >> A
That is, to increase the effective area ηO At .
Thermal Resistance Concept
L1 t A=Ab+NAb,f

Rb=t/(kbA)
T1 T1 T2 Tb T∞
T∞

R1=L1/(k1A) Rt ,O = 1 /( hAtηO )

T1 − T∞ T1 − T∞
T2 Tb q= =
∑ R R1 + Rb + Rt ,O