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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhmt

Numerical investigation of natural convection heat transfer over annular


finned horizontal cylinder
Jnana R. Senapati ⇑, Sukanta K. Dash, Subhranshu Roy
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, 721302, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Natural convection heat transfer from a finned horizontal cylinder has been studied numerically. The
Received 25 May 2015 present numerical investigation is able to capture a complete picture of natural convection over an
Accepted 7 January 2016 annular finned cylinder from where easy visualization about the plume structure and flow field over
Available online 4 February 2016
the tube–fin surface can be obtained pictorially. In the present study, numerical simulations of full
Navier–Stokes equation along with the energy equation have been conducted for a horizontal tube with
Keywords: annular fins of constant thickness for the laminar range of 5 6 Ras 6 108. Optimization studies on the con-
Natural convection
jugate heat transfer characteristics have been conducted to find the best fin spacing and fin-to-tube
Conjugate heat transfer
Horizontal cylinder
diameter ratio for maximum heat transfer. With addition of fins to the heated surface, heat transfer
Fin spacing increases and gets a maximum value, then heat transfer starts to decrease. The optimum fin spacing
Optimization for maximum heat transfer varies between 5 mm and 6 mm roughly for Raleigh number range of
5 6 Ras 6 108. The effect of the parameters like D/d, S/d and Ras on Nus and NuD are analyzed and a
correlation for average Nusselt number has been developed for natural convection from a finned horizon-
tal cylinder. A correlation for optimum fin spacing has also been developed as a function of Ras and D/d
which may be useful for design of various heat exchangers.
Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction convection from horizontal tube heat exchange devices is a stan-


dard practice in many heating and cooling applications such as
Reliable components for sophisticated applications require reli- electronic components, heat exchangers, air cooling systems for
ability in engineering design of the components to improve the air conditioning and refrigeration, gas turbines and compressors,
performance. Cooling of electronic components is a major chal- annular finned heat sinks, utilization of natural circulation for
lenge in present day engineering studies. It has been found that energy storage systems, for space heating (e.g. baseboard heating).
better and efficient cooling of electronic components increases Tsubouchi and Masuda [9] have experimentally determined the
the performance of the components significantly as investigated natural convective heat transfer from a finned horizontal tube in
by McGlena et al. [1], Chrysler et al. [2], Patel [3] and Subramanian laminar flow with Ras being in the range 2 6 Ras 6 104 where prop-
et al. [4]. Most basic forms of cooling are the methods of natural erties have been evaluated at the wall temperature, Tw. Edwards
convection and forced convection. Among the two, natural convec- and Chaddock [10] correlated the experimental data for heat trans-
tion systems do not have any extra components thereby making fer from the entire surface of the circular fins, including tip, for D/
their design very simple and cost effective with minimum mainte- d = 1.94, in the range of 5 6 Ras 6 104. Subsequent values mea-
nance and having additional advantage of less noise. sured by Jones and Nwizu [11] came slightly below the experimen-
The biggest drawback of a simple natural convection system is tally measured values of Edwards and Chaddock [10].
that the heat transfer rate is quite low as explained by Bejan [5] Optimization studies become important in order to have the
and Kreith et al. [6]. Therefore, in order to overcome this drawback best possible configuration for maximum heat transfer. Analytical
it has become a common engineering and industrial practice to use models were developed by Littlefield and Cox [12] to maximize
fins in the systems. There have been a plethora of studies on heat free convection heat transfer from fin–tube combination. The
transfer with fins and how the use of fins have been useful in authors found that optimum arrangement is a strong function of
strongly enhancing the heat transfer as explained by Guvenc fin thermal conductivity, tube diameter, volume of fin material
and Yüncü [7] and Yazicioǧlu and Yüncü [8]. The use of natural per unit length of tube, and temperature difference between the
tube and the surrounding air. Sparrow and Bahrami [13] experi-
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 9547147576 mentally determined the natural convection heat flux distribution
E-mail address: jnanabharat270@gmail.com (J.R. Senapati). on the faces of isothermal circumferential fins affixed to a heated

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2016.01.024
0017-9310/Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 331

Nomenclature

A area of convection surface, m2 Tf fluid temperature at the contact surface, K


Afin area of annular circular fin, m2 Ts temperature at solid surface, K
d diameter of horizontal cylinder, mm DT base-to-ambient temperature difference, K
D fin diameter, mm Ra Rayleigh number
g acceleration due to gravity, m/s2 Ras Rayleigh number based on the fin spacing
h average heat transfer coefficient, W/m2-K D/d fin-to-tube diameter ratio
k thermal conductivity of fin material, W/m-K S/d fin spacing to tube diameter ratio or non-dimensional
L length of the horizontal cylinder, mm fin spacing
Nfin number of fins (S/d)opt optimum fin spacing to tube diameter ratio for maxi-
Nu average Nusselt number mum heat transfer
Nus Nusselt number based on fin spacing x, y, z Cartesian coordinates
NuD Nusselt number based fin diameter u, v, w velocity components in x, y, z directions respectively,
p pressure, N/m2 m/s
patm atmospheric pressure, N/m2
Q convection heat transfer, W Greek symbols
R characteristic gas constant a thermal diffusivity, m/s2
S inter-fin spacing, mm b thermal expansion coefficient, 1/K
Sopt optimum fin spacing for maximum heat transfer, mm l dynamic viscosity, kg/m-s
t thickness of fin, mm m kinematic viscosity, m/s2
Tw cylinder surface temperature, K q density, kg/m3
T1 ambient temperature, K n fin-to-tube diameter ratio, D/d
Tfilm mean film temperature, K gfin fin efficiency

tube. The authors concluded that the highest heat transfer coeffi- The aforementioned experimental studies on annular fins have
cients occur adjacent to the periphery of the fin while the lowest been conducted for 2 6 Ras 6 104. No numerical study has so far
coefficients are at the inner portion of the fin, adjacent to the tube been carried out to capture the complete picture of natural convec-
and thereby contradicting the conventional model which assumes tion over an annular finned horizontal cylinder with fin spacing of
that the heat transfer coefficient is uniform across the face of the industrial relevance, which has been attempted here. From the pre-
fin. Kayansayan and Karabacak [14] investigated that the interac- sent numerical investigation easy visualization about the plume
tion of the fin boundary layer with the cylinder brought about a structure and flow field over the tube–fin surface can be obtained
reduction of the cylinder Nusselt number relative to that for the pictorially. In the present study, numerical simulations of full
classical case of the long isolated horizontal cylinder. They found Navier–Stokes equation along with energy equation has been con-
that the reduction was strong at Rayleigh numbers below the crit- ducted for a horizontal tube with annular fins of constant thickness
ical value and at spacing ratios less than 0.125, however at Ray- for the laminar range of 5 6 Ras 6 108. Optimization studies on the
leigh numbers beyond the critical, the Nusselt number was quite conjugate heat transfer characteristics have been conducted, to
insensitive to the fin spacing and length. Hahne and Zhu [15] find the best fin spacing and fin-to-tube diameter ratio for maxi-
experimentally studied the temperature field and computed heat mum heat transfer.
transfer coefficients on a finned tube and concluded that the heat
transfer coefficient depends on fin height, with better heat transfer
2. Problem description
for smaller fins. Laminar natural convection heat transfer from
isothermal, vertical disks with horizontal support cylinders, as
A horizontal cylinder of diameter (d) 25 mm with fins of
found in annular fin heat sink was studied by Wang et al. [16].
uniform thickness (t) 1 mm having constant inter-fin spacing (S)
Soylemez [17] investigated the optimum length of finned pipe
is taken for the analysis as shown in Fig. 1. The material for the
for waste heat recovery by a thermoeconomic feasibility analysis
fin is chosen to be aluminum because of its high thermal
which yielded a simple algebraic optimization formula for estimat-
conductivity. Although the results are reported mostly in non-
ing the optimum length of a finned pipe that is used for waste heat
dimensional form, the values given here can help the prospective
recovery. Annular fin with uniform thickness losing heat by con-
researchers in reproducing the results of the present study. The
vection to its surrounding was analytically studied by Aziz and
investigation of natural convection on horizontal finned cylinder
Fang [18] for prescribed base temperature and base heat flux as
has to be modeled by a three-dimensional geometry as it is clear
well as specified base and tip temperatures. Experimental and
from Fig. 1. The surface of the cylinder is maintained at a constant
numerical studies on natural convection and radiation heat trans-
temperature (Tw) which is normally the case in industrial practice
fer from annular mounted fins on a horizontal cylinder were con-
(at least for a short distance). However, varying surface tempera-
ducted by Yaghoubi and Mahdavi [19], where the authors found
ture could have been solved easily but it would have added further
that convection heat transfer is larger than radiation heat transfer.
dimension to the analysis, which has been avoided at the first
Numerical simulations were conducted by Huang and Chung [20]
level.
using conjugate gradient method (CGM) for a fin design problem
in order to determine the optimum shapes of fully wet annular fins
adhered to a bare tube based on the desired fin efficiency and fin 3. Mathematical modeling
volume. Caruso et al. [21] performed an experimental study to
evaluate the heat transfer coefficient outside a tube with annular The governing differential equation for steady, laminar, con-
transverse fins, derived from strips of copper mechanically bound stant property, three dimensional flow with incompressible ideal
and coupled outside. gas assumption is given by,
332 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

   
@T S @T f
kS ¼ kf ð10Þ
@n interface @n interface

TS ¼ Tf ð11Þ
The grid distribution in the computational domain is shown in
Fig. 2. For a particular fin diameter of D = 125 mm and tube length
of L = 325 mm with 12 fins, the size of the computational domain
would be 1  2 m. But here we show only a part of the computa-
tional domain, 1  1 m, around the tube and the fins for the sake
of clarity in the picture. Around the base cylinder and the fin, the
cells are too small and away from the fin towards the curved
surface of the outer domain the cells are also small so that the nat-
ural convection plume can be computed with higher accuracy.
Elsewhere in the computational domain the cells are little larger
because the flow in these areas are not changing too drastically.
The total number of computational cells for the particular case is
901,648.

4. Some important parameters

The surrounding fluid is air with incompressible ideal gas


Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of computational domain (not to scale). assumption with the fluid properties measured at film tempera-
ture, T film ¼ ðT w þ T 1 Þ=2, where T1 is the ambient temperature.
The results will henceforth be represented using the following
Continuity equation: non-dimensional parameters.
Rayleigh number based on the tube diameter can be calculated
@u @ v @w
þ þ ¼0 ð1Þ from the following relation:
@x @y @z
3
gbðT w  T 1 Þd
Momentum equation: Ra ¼ ð12Þ
  ma
@u @u @u @p
q u þv þw ¼  þ lðr2 uÞ ð2Þ Rayleigh number based on the fin spacing (S) can be calculated
@x @y @z @x from the following relation:
   
@v @v @v @p gbðT w  T 1 ÞS3 S
q u þv þw ¼ þ lðr2 v Þ  qg ð3Þ RaS ¼ ð13Þ
@x @y @z @y ma D
  As per Newton’s law of cooling, the total convective heat trans-
@w @w @w @p
q u þv þw ¼  þ lðr2 wÞ ð4Þ fer from the fins and the tube can be written as:
@x @y @z @z
Energy equation: Q ¼ hAðT w  T 1 Þ ð14Þ

@T @T @T where the average heat transfer coefficient (h) is based on the total
u þv þw ¼ aðr2 TÞ ð5Þ surface area (A) which includes the fin area (Afin) and the bare tube
@x @y @z
area (Ab). If there are Nfin fins in the array, total surface area can be
Equation of state: given by:
p ¼ qRT ð6Þ A ¼ N fin Afin þ Ab ð15Þ
Boundary condition:
2 The total heat transfer rate, Q is obtained from the numerical
At the cylinder surface and the fin base ðy2 þ z2 ¼ d =4
computations. The average heat transfer coefficient, h can be calcu-
and  L=2 6 x 6 L=2Þ:
lated using Eq. (14) as h ¼ Q =AðT w  T 1 Þ.
u ¼ v ¼ w ¼ 0; T ¼ Tw ð7Þ The Nusselt number for an unfinned cylinder can be calculated
as:
At the outer computational cylindrical domain, the curved
cylindrical surface ðy2 þ z2 ¼ 64D2 and  3L=2 6 x 6 3L=2Þ, the Qd
Nu ¼ ð16Þ
left flat surface ðx ¼ 3L=2Þ and the right flat surface ðx ¼ 3L=2Þ AðT w  T 1 Þk
are given a pressure outlet boundary condition and that has been The Nusselt number (Nu) based on the fin spacing (S) can be
shown in Fig. 1. At the pressure outlet boundary, atmospheric pres- calculated as:
sure (patm set to 0) would prevail and the back flow (if any) would
have a temperature of the surroundings only. QS
NuS ¼ ð17Þ
p ¼ patm ; T ¼ T1 ð8Þ AðT w  T 1 Þk

Energy equation for conduction in solid: The Nusselt number (Nu) based on the fin diameter (D) can be
calculated as:
r T¼0
2
ð9Þ
QD
At the solid–fluid interface, the condition of heat flux and NuD ¼ ð18Þ
AðT w  T 1 Þk
temperature continuity is given by,
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 333

Fig. 2. Grid arrangement over the finned cylinder in the computational domain: (a) projection of grids in x–y plane at z ¼ 0 (b) projection of grids in z–y plane at x ¼ 0.

The fin efficiency (gfin) for a single fin can be defined as: with centroid P is termed as parent cell while the cell with centroid
N is termed as neighboring cell. f is the face common to both par-
Actual heat transfer
gfin ¼ ^ f is the
ent and neighboring cell. fC is the face center of face f and A
Heat transfer when the whole fin is at base temperature
unit normal vector of face f pointing towards the neighboring cell.
Q act ~
¼ rP and ~rN are the displacement vector connecting from two cen-
Afin hðT w  T 1 Þ troidal points P and N respectively to fC. Using Gauss’s divergence
ð19Þ theorem, the volume integral in Eq. (21) can be expressed as the
surface integral over the boundary of the control volume as,
5. Numerical procedure
Z Z Z

The governing differential Eqs (1)–(5) and (9) were integrated


v  n^ÞdA ¼
q/ð~ C/ ðr/  n^ ÞdA þ S/ dV ð22Þ
A A V
over a control volume and then discretized using the finite volume
where n^ is the unit surface area vector. Eq. (22) is applied to each of
technique to obtain a set of algebraic equations. The details of the
steps to deduce the discretization equation is given here. The gov- the control volume in the computational domain. Discretization of
erning differential Eqs. (1)–(5) and (9) can be expressed as a gen- equations on a given control volume gives rise to,
eral form of steady state transport equation of a dependent
X
Nfaces
X
N faces
variable, / and is given by, v f  n^Þ/f Af ¼
qf ð~ C/ ðr/f  n^ ÞAf þ S/ V ð23Þ
v /Þ ¼ r  ðC/ r/Þ þ S/
r  ðq~ ð20Þ
f f

where Nfaces is the number of faces of the cell and the subscript f
where C/ is diffusion coefficient for /, S/ is source of / per unit vol-
represents the face values. The general form of Eq. (23) is solved
ume as suggested by Patankar [22]. Eq. (20) is integrated over an
by FLUENT and is applied to multidimensional, unstructured grids
arbitrary control volume, V, can be written in integral form as
composed of any arbitrary polyhedral as described in the Fluent-
follows,
Z Z Z User’s guide [23]. FLUENT uses a collocated scheme that stores dis-
crete values of the dependent variable /. at the cell centers. The face
v /ÞdV ¼
r  ðq~ r  ðC/ r/ÞdV þ S/ dV ð21Þ
V V V values /f in the equation must be interpolated from the cell center
The three-dimensional, unstructured grid layout of such a con- values. A linearized form of the equations can be given by,
trol volume is shown in the Fig. 3 as described by Fluent-User’s
X
aP / ¼ anb /nb þ b ð24Þ
guide [23], Ferziger and Peric [24] and Satbhai et al. [25]. The cell nb

where the subscript nb refers to neighbor cells, and aP and anb are
the linearized coefficients for / and /nb .
The resulting algebraic equations were solved by the algebraic
multi-grid solver of FLUENT 15 in an iterative manner by imposing
the boundary conditions (7), (8), (10) and (11). Since the number of
cells is too large we had to adopt parallel computing in Fluent in
order to obtain the result in about 3 h for a particular set of run.
If parallel computing is not adopted then a serial computation in
Fluent takes about 10 h for the same case. As mesh was very fine
we had to adopt parallel computing in Fluent in order to save com-
putational time. A comparison of both series and parallel computa-
tion details for a particular set of run is reported in Table 1.
Body force weighted scheme was used for pressure-
discretization. Second-order upwind scheme for the convective
Fig. 3. Control volume used to illustrate discretization of general transport terms was considered for the momentum and energy equations.
equation. The diffusive terms of the momentum and energy equations were
334 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

Table 1 Table 4
A comparison of series and parallel computation: For the run case, number of Variation of Nus with domain diameter for D/d = 5, S/d = 1.0292, Ras = 8891.
computational cells = 901,648, D/d = 5, S/d = 1.0292, Ras = 8891.
Domain size 8D 16D 24D
Series Parallel
NuS 11.78 12.01 12.02
Number of cores 1 4
Clock speed IntelÒ XeonÒ CPU IntelÒ XeonÒ CPU
E5-46400 @ 2.40 GHz E5-46400 @ 2.40 GHz
Computational time 10 3 horizontal finned cylinder one does not get any numerical simula-
(in hours) tions to compare the result. So, we could compare our result with
one of the experiments of Tsubouchi and Masuda [9] which
matches extremely well with our computation (Fig. 5(b)). The
experimental correlation of Churchill and Chu [26], Eq. (25) and
Table 2
that of Morgan [27], Eq. (26) for a horizontal cylinder are written
Under-relaxation factors.
here for ready reference of the users.
Pressure Density Body forces Momentum Energy
2 32
0.4 1.0 1.0 0.3 1.0
6 0:387ðRaÞ1=6 7
Nu ¼40:60 þ h  9=16 i8=27 5 ð25Þ
1 þ 0:559
Pr
Table 3
Variation of Nus with computational cells for D/d = 5, S/d = 1.0292, Ras = 8891.

Number of cells 689,032 807,887 901,648 991,360 1,171,000 Nu ¼ 0:48ðRaÞ0:25 ; for 104 6 Ra 6 107 ð26Þ
NuS 12.43 12.14 12.01 12 11.99
The natural convection heat transfer from a finned horizontal
cylinder has been experimentally measured and correlations are
developed by Tsubouchi and Masuda [9] which is shown in Eq.
(27) for ready reference of the users.
discretized so that they are at least second order accurate in space
(Central difference scheme was used). SIMPLE algorithm was used ( "   # "   #)
3=4 3=4
for coupling the pressure and the velocity terms for the pressure RaS C C
NuS ¼ 2  exp   exp b ð27Þ
correction equation. The relative convergence criterion for the 12p RaS RaS
energy equation was set to 106 and for all other equations it
was setto 104. The under-relaxation factors used for the conver- where,
gence of the variables (relative whole field residuals) are shown
(  1=2 )4=3
in Table 2. 23:7  1:1 1 þ ð152=n2 Þ
Hexagonal cells (Hex mesh) were used for meshing the domain b ¼ ð0:17=nÞ þ eð4:8=nÞ and C ¼
1þb
volume. The mesh was made finer near the surface of the base
cylinder and fins to capture the boundary layer effect. The mesh
for inner most cylindrical volume(small cylindrical portion on both With properties evaluated at the wall temperature, Tw.
sides of the base cylinder) would call for use of the unstructured For flow over a finned horizontal cylinder Ras, ranges from 5–108
grids with negligible skewness without sacrificing any accuracy which almost covers the entire range of laminar flow. Normally
of the solution process. The number of computational cells was finned horizontal cylinders are used in condensers or evaporators
fixed to 901,648 after doing a grid independence test as has been of air conditioners where the flow is forced convection in nature.
shown in Table 3 and Fig. 4(a). The domain independence test In the absence of forced convection (back of a refrigerator) the flow
was also performed by varying the domain sizes as has been shown is normally natural convection driven and essentially remains in
in Table 4 and Fig. 4(b). Based on the result obtained from the the laminar range since the fin spacing is normally too low in order
domain independence test, the outer cylindrical computational to have higher heat loss. So a study of natural convection heat trans-
domain diameter was restricted to 16 times of the fin diameter (D). fer over a finned horizontal cylinder is normally done in the laminar
Fig. 5(a) shows the variation of Nusselt number with Rayleigh range which we have tried to do here. Since the flow is laminar a
number for a horizontal unfinned cylinder and also a comparison direct steady state solution is possible in our case. Normally in tur-
from the existing experimental correlations of Churchill and Chu bulent flow obtaining a steady state solution directly is not possible
[26] and that of Morgan [27]. It can be observed from Fig. 5(a) that due to numerical convergence problems, where one has to adopt
the present computation is reasonably accurate. However, for a transient method in order to obtain a steady state solution.

Fig. 4. Variation of Nus with computational cells (a) and domain diameter (b).
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 335

Fig. 5. Variation of Nusselt number with Rayleigh number: A comparison between the present computation and the experimental correlations. For the finned cylinder
D/d = 5, S/d = 1.0292.

Fig. 6. Variation of heat transfer rate with non-dimensional fin spacing, S/d for different values of diameter ratio, D/d and Ra.

Table 5
Variation of optimum fin spacing (Sopt in mm) with fin diameter, D for different Ra.

Ra D = 125 mm D = 100 mm D = 75 mm D = 50 mm
51,645 6.032 5.941 5.761 5.535
73,616 5.861 5.779 5.580 5.370
80,703 5.692 5.548 5.346 5.133

6. Results and discussion

6.1. Effect of fin spacing and fin diameter on heat transfer

Fig. 6 shows the heat loss from the horizontal finned cylinder as
a function of D/d and S/d where Rayleigh number varies as a result
of the temperature difference between the base cylinder and that
of the ambient from 50 K to 150 K. In the figures the convection
heat transfer rates are plotted as a function of non-dimensional
fin spacing, S/d at a fixed D/d. The figures are drawn for fin diame-
ters of D/d = 5, D/d = 4, D/d = 3, D/d = 2 respectively. From Fig. 6, it Fig. 7. Variation of non-dimensional optimum fin spacing, (S/d)opt with diameter
can be seen that, at a given D/d and Ra, the convection heat transfer ratio, D/d at different values of Ra.
336 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

Fig. 8. Variation of NuD with non-dimensional fin spacing, S/d at different values of diameter ratio, D/d and Ra.

Fig. 9. Variation of fin efficiency, gfin with non-dimensional fin spacing, S/D at different values of diameter ratio, D/d and Ra.

rate from a fin array (horizontal finned cylinder) first increases up certain point, although the surface area increases, but the heat
to a maximum and then starts to decrease. When the fins are transfer coefficient decreases due to decrease in fin spacing
added to the cylindrical surface the conduction resistance to heat because the movement of air gets obstructed within the fins.
flow increases and convection resistance decreases because the Hence, conduction heat transfer dominates over convection for
convection surface area increases significantly with numbers of the inter-fin air. So heat transfer decreases after certain number
the fin. Hence the heat transfer increases significantly. When still of fins which we see from Fig. 6 in all the cases. Fig. 6 shows
fins are added continuously (causing S/d to decrease), the heat that there exists an optimum fin spacing to tube diameter ratio,
transfer goes on increasing. But in case of natural convection, after (S/d)opt, for each fin configuration, at which the net heat transfer
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 337

Table 6 rate from the fin array is maximized. As it can be seen from Fig. 6,
A comparison of fin efficiency: Present computation and analytical result from Eq. the optimum fin spacing depends on fin diameter and also on
(28); for diameter ratio, D/d = 5 and Ra ¼ 51; 645.
Rayleigh number.
S/d gNumerical gAnalytical
5.84 88.61 88.72
2.312 88.81 89.16
6.2. Effect of fin diameter and Rayleigh number on optimum fin
1.0292 88.85 89.26 spacing for maximum heat transfer
0.6516 89 89.57
0.4712 89.48 89.9 The estimated optimum fin spacings for a given fin diameter, D
0.3656 90.29 90.83
and Rayleigh number, Ra are shown in Table 5. The values from the
0.296 90.69 91.15
0.2468 90.76 91.78 table are shown graphically in Fig. 7, which shows that with
0.21 92.24 93.13 increase in fin diameter, D, Sopt increases at a constant Ra because
0.182 94.09 94.64 the area between the two fins increases resulting more resistance
0.1592 94.42 95.07 to flow. Moreover, at a constant Ra, as the fin diameter, D, increases
the buoyant plume in-between any two fin spacing becomes

Fig. 10. Contours of static temperature with varying fin spacing in x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for D/d = 5 and Ra ¼ 51645.
338 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

stronger which can take away more heat from the fin. As the fin another Sopt to be achieved. Hence, the new Sopt would be lower in
diameter is increasing the viscous effect on buoyant flow also rises value compared to the previous Sopt when Ra increases. Thus with
(larger fin diameter forms a narrow channel for the buoyant plume rise in Ra, the value of Sopt would decrease which has been shown
to be slowly moving). These two effects oppose each other and as a in Fig. 7.
result the buoyant plume becomes too slowly moving between the
fins causing heat transfer to be less as the fin diameter goes on 6.3. Effect of S/d and D/d on NuD and fin efficiency
increasing. So, in order to obtain an optimum fin spacing we have
to cross over the maximum heat transfer point which means that The variation of Nusselt number based on the fin diameter, NuD
we have to increase the gap between the fins, so that the effect with non-dimensional fin spacing, S/d is shown in Fig. 8. From the
of viscous force reduces on buoyancy. This means the value of Sopt figure it is clear that for lower value of S/d, NuD increases signifi-
has to increase, which is observed from Fig. 7. cantly but as the value of S/d increases beyond 1, the rise in NuD
In natural convection there is a play between buoyancy force is not observed, rather NuD tends to be constant. At lower value
and viscous force. For fixed fin diameter, with higher Ra, buoyancy of S/d there are more fins on the cylinder and the heat transfer is
force dominates over the viscous force and there is higher flow of mainly due to conduction and buoyancy effects are too less. At
air around the fins which causes higher heat transfer from the fins. higher value of S/d the fins are less and the gap between the fins
In order to obtain S to be optimum one has to still add fins so that are more which causes buoyancy to be dominating over conduc-
the viscous force between the inter-fin spacing becomes substan- tion heat transfer. So at higher S/d, NuD remains constant, since
tial to oppose the buoyancy force so that the heat transfer will the heat transfer due to natural convection has reached its limit.
decrease from the fins, prior to which we would have already It is also possible to extrapolate the information about the average
obtained the optimum fin spacing for maximum heat transfer. Sup- heat transfer coefficient from the figure as both of them shows
pose we still make Ra, to be higher at the optimum fin spacing. similar behavior with respect to fin spacing. The average heat
Then we expect that the buoyancy force will still rise and would transfer coefficient increases with increase in the fin spacing. How-
dominate over the viscous force between the inter-fin spacing ever, the fin efficiency decreases with increase in the fin spacing as
causing heat transfer to be even higher. So the possibility of shown in the Fig. 9. In the definition of fin efficiency in Eq. (19), per
another Sopt would arise which would suggest that we have to still fin heat transfer is taken into consideration, hence the fin efficiency
add more fins to make the viscous force higher between the fins is actually per fin efficiency. The average heat transfer coefficient
which would oppose the growing buoyancy force and would cause and fin efficiency can approach their corresponding asymptotic

Fig. 11. Contours of static temperature with varying fin diameter in x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for S/d = 0.2468 and Ra ¼ 73616.
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 339

value obtained from a single annular circular fin when the fin spac- fins) are shown in the Fig. 10. We can see clearly from the figure
ing exceeds a certain value. The effect of fin spacing on Nusselt that, when the number of fins go on increasing (so inter-fin spacing
number based on fin diameter (convection heat transfer coefficient go on decreasing), the heat transfer increases till the number of fins
as well) and efficiency values shown in the figure can be negligible become 42 (S/d = 0.2468) and after that when the number of fins
when the non-dimensional fin spacing, S/d values exceeds about 1. still increase to 60 (S/d = 0.1592) the heat transfer falls from the
Fin efficiency obtained from one-dimensional analytical solu- tube and the fin system. When the number of fins are 6
tion for circumferential fins as reported in Incropera et al. [28] is (S/d = 2.312) the plume over the cylinder or the tube is very dis-
given by: tinct and they are not interacting with each other, but with 18 fins
(S/d = 0.6516) the plume mix with each other and create a blanket
2r 1 K 1 ðmr 1 ÞI1 ðmr 2c Þ  I1 ðmr 1 ÞK 1 ðmr2c Þ
gfin ¼ ð28Þ of hot air over the fin surface. With 30 fins (S/d = 0.3656) the blan-
mðr 22c  r 21 Þ K 0 ðmr 1 ÞI1 ðmr 2c Þ þ I0 ðmr 1 ÞK 1 ðmr2c Þ
ket of hot air which is formed over the fins has now higher temper-
where I0 and K 0 are modified, zero-order Bessel functions of the first ature and remains as a continuous plume. But with 36 fins
and second kinds, respectively. Similarly I1 and K 1 are modified, (S/d = 0.296) the hot air blanket breaks into three distinct plumes
first-order Bessel functions of the first and second kinds, respec- again whereas the blanket temperature has also becomes higher
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
tively. m ¼ 2h=kt , where h is average convective heat transfer compared to that of the case of 30 fins. Due to the breaking of
coefficient, k is thermal conductivity of the fin material, and t is plumes the heat transfer again becomes higher compared to the
the thickness of fin. r1 and r 2 are cylinder radius ðd=2Þ and fin radius case of 30 fins. With 42 fins (S/d = 0.2468) the three plumes have
respectively. r 2c is the corrected radius of the form r 2c ¼ r 2 þ ðt=2Þ. A again become stronger over the fins compared to the case of 36 fins
comparison of the fin efficiency computed from our numerical solu- and the air blanket has again now formed smaller plumes over the
tion and that from Eq. (28) is given in Table 6, which shows a good fins. When the fins become much more (60 fins) the air blanket
match between the two. It has to be mentioned here that the value becomes thicker and its temperature also becomes more compared
of h used in Eq. (28) has been obtained from the Eq. (14). to that of 42 fins and the blanket creates a hot air zone over the fins
which hinders heat transfer from the fin as a result the net heat
6.4. Effect of fin spacing on temperature plume transfer from the system decreases. With 60 fins (S/d = 0.1592),
we basically get conduction loss from the system whereas the nat-
The contours of static temperature or the temperature plume ural convection heat loss is severely dampened due to the close-
over the annular finned tube with varying fin spacing (number of ness of the fins to each other. The contour plot of Fig.10 is a

Fig. 12. Contours of static temperature with varying Ra in x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for D/d = 5 and S/d = 0.4712.
340 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

dimensional plot in x–y plane at z = 0. If the plots are shown in the tube–fin system becomes stronger and the temperature plume
non-dimensional manner then it would lose its physical signifi- can be seen to be becoming stronger or larger in size over the fin
cance. Someone would not get any idea about the temperature in surfaces. The heat loss from the system due to natural convection
the domain at a certain point. This is the reason normally contour is also seen to be increasing with Ra. It can be marked from the
plots are shown in dimensional form. Figs. 10–12 that symmetry is preserved always around the mid
plane of the tube. Normally in numerical simulation symmetry gets
6.5. Effect of fin diameter on temperature plume destroyed due to artificial viscosity peeping into the computation
through the discretization process. However, in the present com-
Fig. 11 shows the contours of static temperature or the temper- putation we have used second order upwinding scheme with finer
ature plume (a dimensional plot in x–y) over the fin surface with cells which preserves symmetry of the computation. This system
varying diameter ratio. We can conclude from the figure that the can always be tested with aiding flow from one side where sym-
when the diameter ratio increases the heat transfer from the tube metry would not be present. With this in view we have not tried
and fins also increases due to a rise in the heat transfer area of the a half system with symmetry.
fins. The net heat transfer for each case is shown in the figure. It is
interesting to mark the temperature plume over the fin surface as 6.7. Effect of fin spacing on flow field around the fins
the diameter ratio increases. For lower D/d the plume occurs at the
two ends of the tube but with higher D/d the plume shifts towards Fig. 13 shows the velocity vector around the fins for two
the center of the tube. At D/d = 4 the central portion has a stronger extreme cases i.e. S/d = 2.312 (6 fins) and S/d = 0.1592 (60 fins).
plume with two weaker side plumes and with higher D/d of 5 the From the plots it is clear that the velocity is lower in the lower side
central plume becomes even stronger along with the two side of the cylinder. The lower portion of the fins is not effectively used
plumes. as the velocity is dominant in the upper half of the fins. Since the
flow is buoyancy driven so the flow has a tendency to go upward.
6.6. Effect of Ra on temperature plume Therefore the flow in-between two fins at the lower portion of the
tube would be rising in nature which would hit the tube surface.
Fig. 12 shows the contours of static temperature or the temper- This can be seen clearly from Fig. 13. The flow in-between the
ature plume (a dimensional plot in x–y) over the tube–fin system two fins in the upper portion of the tube is always rising in nature
with varying Ra. When Ra rises, the buoyancy driven flow over (like that of the lower portion). But this flow helps to remove the

Fig. 13. Plots of velocity vector with varying fin spacing in x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for D/d = 5 and Ra ¼ 51645.
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 341

heat from the fins better compared to the flow pattern that prevails the figure. There is a central plume in common always to which
in the lower portion of the tube. In the central portion of the tube there is side suction. This is the main feature of the plume struc-
the rising plume can be seen for S/d = 2.312 (6 fins) as well as ture with secondary flows present inside the main central plume.
S/d = 0.1592 (60 fins). It can be marked that the rising plume is much
stronger in case of 60 fins compared to the case of 6 fins. Since the 6.9. Effect of Ra on flow field around the fins
number of fins are higher in a particular region of the tube (60 fins
compared to 6 fins) it transfers more heat from the tube to the The plots of velocity vector or the flow field (a dimensional plot
ambient causing the ambient air to be hotter and hence the air in x–y) around the fins with varying Rayleigh number, Ra is shown
rises faster making a stronger plume compared to the case of lower in the Fig. 15. We have shown the temperature plume for this case
number of fins being present in that particular portion of the tube. over the tube–fin system in Fig.12. There is a central plume present
It can also be marked that as the plume rise upward in the central in all the cases and there is side suction of ambient air into the cen-
portion of the tube the surroundings air gets sucked into the tral plume. As Ra increases the buoyancy driven flow over the
plume. The velocity vector plot of Fig.13 is a dimensional plot in tube–fin system becomes stronger and the central plume looks to
x–y plane at z = 0. If the plots are shown in non-dimensional man- be much stronger for the case of Ra = 80703 compared to the case
ner then it would lose its physical significance. Someone would not of Ra = 51645. In-between the central plume there is some sec-
get any idea about the velocity in the domain at a certain point. ondary flow which is always rising upward but lower in magnitude
This is the reason normally contour plots as well as the velocity compared to the main branch of the plume.
vector plots are shown in dimensional form.

6.10. Temperature Plume and flow field as seen from the side of the
6.8. Effect of fin diameter on flow field around the fins tube (on z–y plane)

The plots of velocity vector or the flow field (a dimensional plot Temperature Plume and flow field as seen from the side of the
in x–y) around the fins with varying diameter ratio is shown in the tube (a dimensional plot in z–y plane at x = 0) are shown in the
Fig. 14. The corresponding temperature plume for this case is Figs. 16 and 17. Fig.10 shows the temperature plume for the case
shown in Fig. 11. When the diameter ratio increases the fins trans- of D/d = 5, Ra = 51645 and S/d = 0.3656 (30 fins) and the view is
fer more heat to the surroundings and the plume becomes stronger in x–y plane. If we look from the side of the cylinder we would
and stronger with the increase in D/d. This can be easily marked get a view in the z–y plane. For this case the temperature plume
from Fig. 14 that as D/d is increasing the plume strength is also is shown in Fig.16 at two locations of x = 0 and x = 5.069 mm.
increasing which can be read from the velocity scale attached to The plume at x = 0 is in between two fins whereas the plume at

Fig. 14. Plots of velocity vector with varying fin diameter in x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for S/d = 0.2468 and Ra ¼ 73616.
342 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

x = 5.069 mm is through the fin only. The central portion of the To develop the correlations for a finned horizontal cylinder,
plume is hotter as it takes heat from the cylinder (Fig.16(a)) computations were done by varying the number of fins (0–60),
whereas the plume shown in Fig.16 (b), has also got a hot central fin-to-tube diameter ratio (2–5) and the base-to-ambient temper-
core but too big in area as it takes heat from the fin which is ature difference (50–150 K). The correlations were made by per-
attached to the hot cylinder. Fig.17 shows the flow field at x = 0 forming a non-linear regression analysis of the data from the
and x = 5.069 mm where we showed the temperature plume. It results using POLYMATH 6.0 and the following correlation was
can be seen from Fig.17 that the plume attracts the flow from obtained which may be useful for the design of heat exchangers
the side and pushes it up in the central portion just above the and optimization of number of fins for maximum heat transfer.
cylinder, while below the cylinder the flow still goes downward.
NuS ¼ c0 þ c1 RaaS0 na1 þ c2 RaaS2 þ c3 na3 ð30Þ
7. Some useful correlations where,

7.1. Correlation for Nusselt number c0 ¼ 3:827; c1 ¼ 0:047; c2 ¼ 1:039; c3 ¼ 2:548


a0 ¼ 0:348; a1 ¼ 0:173; a2 ¼ 0:175; a3 ¼ 0:009
The correlations for average Nusselt number for natural convec-
For Eq. (30), the coefficient of determination (R2) is 0.9986 and
tion from a horizontal cylinder show that the Nusselt number is a
p 6 0.001. Fig. 18 shows a good agreement between the predicted
function of Rayleigh number. However, the addition of fins to the
and the computed values of Nus. The equation is valid for the entire
horizontal cylinder will change the Nusselt number. Thus, for a
laminar range of 5 6 RaS 6 108, with properties evaluated at film
given thickness of the fins, the Nusselt number from a finned hor-
temperature, Tfilm. The plot of Nus versus Ras is shown in Fig. 19.
izontal cylinder will depend on the height of the fins and the inter-
It is clear from the figure that the present correlation (Eq. (30))
fin spacing. Therefore, the average Nusselt number based on fin
matches well with that of Tsubouchi and Masuda (Eq. (27)), which
spacing, Nus over a finned horizontal cylinder can be described as
is valid within the range 5 6 RaS 6 104. However, our present cor-
a function of the Rayleigh number based on fin spacing, the fin-
relation (Eq. (30)) is valid within a large range of laminar flow com-
to-tube diameter ratio (n) and the inter-fin spacing to tube diame-
pared to that of the correlation of Tsubouchi and Masuda (Eq. (27)).
ter ratio, S/d. The functional form of the relationship can be
The present correlation is accurate enough to be used in the indus-
expressed as:
try and simpler in functional form compared to that of Eq. (27) and
  valid over a wider range of Raleigh number based on fin spacing,
S
NuS ¼ f 1 RaS ; n; ð29Þ Ras. So, we propose this correlation of Eq. (30) to be a new correla-
d
tion for Nusselt number for horizontal annular finned tubes. While

Fig. 15. Plots of velocity vector with varying Rain x–y plane at z ¼ 0; for D/d = 5 and S/d = 0.4712.
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 343

Fig. 16. Contours of static temperature in z–y plane: (a) at x ¼ 0 plane (midplane of 15th and 16th fin) and (b) at x ¼ 5:069 mm plane (mid of 16th fin); for D/d = 5,
S/d = 0.3656 and Ra ¼ 51645.

Fig. 17. Plots of velocity vector in z–y plane: (a) at x ¼ 0 plane (midplane of 15th and 16th fin) and (b) at x ¼ 5:069 mm plane (mid of 16th fin); for D/d = 5, S/d = 0.3656 and
Ra ¼ 51645.

developing the functional form for Nus, we tried to keep it look horizontal annular fins. So, it is intended to develop a correlation
simple by not taking the extra term S/d since the effect of S and for the optimum fin spacing. The ratio of optimum fin spacing to
d are already present in Ras and diameter ratio, n. base tube diameter, (S/d)opt may be defined as a function of Ray-
leigh number based on fin spacing and fin-to-tube diameter ratio.
7.2. Correlation for optimum fin spacing The functional form can be written as,
 
S
The optimum fin spacing for maximum heat transfer is a ¼ f 2 ðRaS ; nÞ ð31Þ
d opt
desired parameter for any design of heat exchangers with
344 J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345

Fig. 20. Predicted and computed values of (S/d)opt.


Fig. 18. Predicted and computed values of Nus.

designing of heat exchangers. Using this equation we can predict


To develop the correlation for optimum fin spacing, computa- the optimum fin spacing or required number of fins for optimum
tions were done by varying the Rayleigh number and fin-to-tube heat transfer on annular finned horizontal cylinder.
diameter ratio. The correlations were derived by performing a
non-linear regression analysis of the data from the results using 7.3. Correlation for fin efficiency
POLYMATH 6.0 and the following correlation was obtained which
is a very simple relation to be used in the actual design. Fin efficiency may be defined as a function of Rayleigh number
based on fin spacing and fin-to-tube diameter ratio. The functional
 
S form can be written as,
¼ 0:071ðRaS nÞ0:247 ð32Þ
d opt
gfin ¼ f 3 ðRaS ; nÞ ð33Þ
For Eq. (32), the coefficient of determination (R2) is 0.9975 and
p 6 0.001. Fig. 20 shows a good agreement between the predicted The correlation for fin efficiency was derived by performing a
and the computed values of (S/d)opt. This correlation is valid in the non-linear regression analysis of the data from the results using
Rayleigh number range 5 6 RaS 6 108 and n in the range of POLYMATH 6.0 and the following correlation was obtained.
2 6 n 6 5, with properties evaluated at film temperature, Tfilm.
Eq. (32) is very useful for industrial applications especially for
gfin ¼ c0  c1 RaaS0 na1 þ c2 Raa2  c3 Raa3 ð34Þ

Fig. 19. Plots of NuS versus Ras for different values of D/d and comparison with present correlation (Eq. (30)) and Tsubouchi correlation (Eq. (27)).
J.R. Senapati et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 96 (2016) 330–345 345

4. From the present three dimensional numerical simulations, cor-


relations for the Nusselt number based on fin spacing, NuS and
optimum fin spacing for maximum heat transfer, Sopt as a func-
tion of Ras and D/d has been developed in the entire laminar
range which can be very useful to industrial designers.

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