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Free and Forced Convection description, and equations needed.

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LABORATORYMANUAL

EXPERIMENT 3:

Peyman Taheri

Objective

Determination of heat transfer coefficient h , for free and forced convection in different geometries.

Apparatus

Figure 1 shows the experimental instrument in details. This unit has the following components:

of 120 120 mm 2 and a length of 1m is used to

guide the air flow over a heated surface. The

ambient air enters the duct at the bottom and

heated air leaves the duct at the top (11)

enable one to record the temperature at various

locations by using a type-K thermocouple (3). In

addition, a fan with flow sensor (4) blows air into

the duct and measures its volumetric inlet flow

rate. Two thermistors (5, 6) record the inlet and

outlet temperatures of the air flow.

different geometries (7-9) can be mounted inside

the duct using simple toggle-type fasteners. The

different heated surfaces (flat plate, pipe bundle or

fins) are each heated by four resistive heaters with

maximum heating power of about 170 W. The

applied voltage to the heaters is adjustable for

achieving variable heat output. There are bimetallic strips to interrupt the supply of power,

when certain temperatures are established (also

used to ensure that the temperature does not

exceed 120C).

the power supply and regulate the fan speed and

heaters power. In addition, this unit displays the

electrical power supplied to the heaters, the

volumetric flow rate of air, the inlet and outlet air

temperatures, and the temperatures measured with

the type-K thermocouple. A PC is connected to

the apparatus for data acquisition.

Peyman Taheri

Software

The LabView software is used to display the measured data. Figure 2 shows the system diagram in LabView

with some sample data values. The system diagram shows temperatures and heat transfer parameters at

different locations of the flow path (the blue line). The definitions of the parameters are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Parameters definition

Parameter

Definition

Parameter

Definition

T1

w

dm / dt

dQ / dt

P1

T4

T3

p0

Air velocity

Air mass flow rate

Rate of heat transfer

Heater input power

User defined fin surface temperature

Thermocouple (3) temperature

Ambient pressure

T0

PHI

Fins

eta

alpha

Re

Nu

T2

Ambient temperature

Ambient relative humidity

Type of the installed fin

Fin efficiency

Heat transfer coefficient

Reynolds number

Nusselt number

Outlet air temperature

Peyman Taheri

Figure 3 shows different geometries for the heated surface;

Flat plate,

Rectangular fins.

Air flows past the heating element and absorbs heat in the process. Sensors record the volumetric flow rate of

the air, the heating power and the temperatures at all relevant points. The measured values can be read on

digital displays. At the same time, the measured values can also be transmitted directly to a PC. Free and

forced convective cooling will be investigated on all three surface configurations. Comparison between the

flat plate results and the results of finned surfaces can be used to find the effects of fins on the heat transfer

coefficient under free and forced convection heat transfer.

(a)

(b)

Figure 3: (a) Flat plate, (b) pipe bundle, and (3) rectangular fins

(c)

Theory

There are three modes for heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation. The convection heat transfer

plays an important role in many industrial applications. The convection heat transfer is usually subdivided

into free and forced convection. In the forced convection, the fluid is blown or pumped past the heated surface

using a pump or a fan, while in the natural (or free) convection, fluid flow is naturally achieved by buoyancy

effects, i.e., density variation in the fluid.

The heat transfer rate to the fluid Q can be calculated using the fist law of thermodynamics for the heated

fluid,

Q = m h

(1)

where h is the enthalpy variation of the fluid before and after the heated surface and m is the mass flow

rate which is calculated as,

m = wA

(2)

Peyman Taheri

here is the air density, w is the averaged velocity and A is the cross-sectional area of the duct which is

equal to 0.0144 m2 in this experiment. The air density can be found from thermodynamics tables. Using ideal

gas assumption for the air, Eq. (1) becomes,

Q = m cP T

(3)

The temperature difference T is calculated from the difference between the average inlet and outlet

temperatures. The specific heat capacity of the air cP also depends on the air temperature and should be

found from thermodynamics tables. Since the temperature is varying along the duct, the cP value should be

evaluated in the averaged temperature of air in the duct, TM ,

TM =

T1 + T2

2

(4)

The heat sources on the testbed consist of electrical resistors; thus, the amount of power that is fed to the

heaters, P1 , can be calculated.

The factor for fin efficiency, , provides information on the losses which occur during heat transfer. This

factor indicates the portion of the input energy that is transferred to the fluid. This can be written as,

Q

P1

(5)

The amount of 1 - shows all losses resulted from convection and radiation to the surroundings and not to

the fluid. The heat transfer from a surface to a fluid can be described mathematically,

Q = A Tm

(6)

where is the heat transfer coefficient. The heat transfer rate is the same as the amount calculated from

Eq. (3). Determination of Tm is challenging; if one assumes that temperature is varying linearly along the

duct, Tm will be identical to TM calculated from Eq. (4). Another important value introduced in the literature

is Log Mean Temperature Difference (LMTD). It is calculated using the following formula,

Tm =

(T1 - T fin, in )

ln

(T2 - T fin, out )

(7)

Since the surface temperature, T fin , of the heater remains almost constant across the entire area and only the

temperature of the air changes significantly between the inlet and the outlet, one can simplify this equation,

Tm =

ln

T1 - T2

(T1 - T fin )

(8)

(T2 - T fin )

Peyman Taheri

Therefore, the heat transfer coefficient, , can be evaluated from Eqs. (3), (6) and (8). The heat transfer

depends not only on the temperature difference and the surface material of the heater, but is also influenced

by the flow regime, i.e., laminar or turbulent flow.

Reynolds number is a criterion for defining whether a flow is turbulent or laminar. For a flow over a flat plate

the transition between these two regimes occurs at approximately Recrit = 1- 5105 . However, there are other

values for pipes and fins. The Reynolds number is defined as,

Re =

wl

(9)

where l is a characteristic length scale, which is the plate length for flat surfaces, and = / is the

kinematic viscosity of the fluid (air). The kinematic viscosity of the air is temperature dependant and can be

taken from thermodynamics tables at TM .

The Nusselt number is dimensionless and is used in measuring heat transfer rates,

Nu =

l

k

(10)

where k is thermal conductivity. The Nusselt number can be calculated once the heat transfer coefficient , is

known. The following correlation (obtained experimentally) offers another way of determining the Nusselt

number for a parallel flow over a smooth surface (plate) for laminar flow,

Nu = 0.664 Re0.5 Pr 0.33

(11)

Using the values obtained from Eq. (11), it is possible to check the accuracy of experiments for flat plate

heater.

Procedure

At the beginning of the experiment the heater element with the flat plate is connected to the control and

display unit prior to being fixed in the air duct. Once the power supply has been connected, the potentiometer

on the control unit is set to 100% and the surface temperature T fin is measured using the thermocouple.

Once a steady-state condition has been reached, there is no noticeable temperature change at the surface of the

heater element, the temperature is saved. The heater is then placed in the duct. Once again it is necessary to

wait until a steady-state condition is established. The following values are measured;

This experimental sequence is applicable to all experiments as tabulated in Table 2. In the case of the pipe

bundle and the fins, the surface temperature must be measured prior to fitting in the air duct.

Turn on the fan and repeat the above-mentioned sequence. Increase the fan power to 100% of its rated

capacity with the heater at full power.

Peyman Taheri

The temperature drop within the heated pipe bundle is measured on the heater insert for the free and forced

convection cases. The heater is operated at 100% power output and the thermocouple pushed into the air duct

through the measuring gland such that the tip is in the centre of the cylinder bore. The thermocouple is then

removed from the first measuring gland and is inserted in the other three holes in the cylinder.

Table 1: Measurement data.

Flat Plate

Natural

Forced

Pipe bundle

Natural

Forced

Rectangular fins

Natural

Forced

T1

T2

w [m/s]

P1

After completing the measurements, find the efficiency of each system at natural and forced convection

modes. Determine effects of flow regime on the heat transfer rate. For the flat plate heater calculate the

accuracy of the experimental data through comparison of the measured values to the one obtained from

Eq. (11).

Discussion

1) What are the differences between laminar and turbulent flows? Which one has the higher heat transfer

coefficient?

2) What is the difference in the measured values of heat transfer coefficient if one uses linear average

temperature instead of LMTD?

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