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Accepted Manuscript

Optimal design of plate-fin heat exchangers by a Bees Algorithm

Hossein Zarea, Farshad Moradi Kashkooli, Abdollah Mansuri Mehryan, Mohammad


Reza Saffarian, Esmaeel Namvar Beherghani

PII: S1359-4311(13)00846-6
DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.11.042
Reference: ATE 5187

To appear in: Applied Thermal Engineering

Received Date: 8 April 2013


Revised Date: 8 August 2013
Accepted Date: 19 November 2013

Please cite this article as: H. Zarea, F.M. Kashkooli , A.M. Mehryan, M.R. Saffarian, E.N. Beherghani,
Optimal design of plate-fin heat exchangers by a Bees Algorithm, Applied Thermal Engineering (2013),
doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.11.042.

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HIGHLIGHTS
 We analyzed a plate-fin heat exchanger with offset strip fins.
 This is the first application of a Bees Algorithm for plate-fin heat exchanger design.
 Preliminarily design and effectiveness of PFHE was improved by minimizing the entropy generation units.
 The results show the superiority of this method over GA, PSO and ICA and preliminary design.

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Optimal design of plate-fin heat exchangers by a Bees Algorithm

Hossein Zarea1, Farshad Moradi Kashkooli1*, Abdollah Mansuri Mehryan1, Mohammad Reza

Saffarian1and Esmaeel Namvar Beherghani1

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1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

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In this study, the application of Bees Algorithm (BA) in the optimum design of a cross flow plate-fin heat exchanger

with offset strip fin is investigated. First, heat exchanger is optimized and designed according to the effectiveness

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optimization. Then, an analysis based on the second law of thermodynamics and minimizations of entropy

generation units is performed. Specific heat duty, space restriction and permitted pressure drop are considered as the

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constraints for the number of entropy generation unit's minimization. Hot and cold flow length of the heat

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exchangers, number of fin layers, fin frequency, fin height, fin strip length and fin thickness are introduced as

optimization variables. The effectiveness and accuracy of the suggested algorithm are compared with literatures.

The results have shown that BA can find optimum configuration with higher accuracy in comparison with Genetic
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Algorithm (GA), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), Imperialist Competitive Algorithm (ICA) and preliminary
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design.
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Key words: Plate-fin heat exchanger, offset strip fin, Bees Algorithm, optimization.

1. Introduction
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One of the important types of heat exchangers is compact heat exchanger. The advantage of these
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exchangers is high heat transfer area in volume unit which leads to decrement of space, weight,
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improvement of energy efficiency, required cost and improvement of design process in comparison with

ordinary heat exchangers [1]. Plate fin heat exchanger (PFHE) is one of the important types of compact

heat exchangers. Due to low volume and weight, high effectiveness and multi-current capability, these

exchangers are widely used in gas to gas application including: micro-turbines, cryogenics (cooling in

*
Corresponding author. Tel. :( +98) 917-7360841; Fax :( +98) 711-6123864; E-mail: Farshadmoradikashkooli@ymail.com.

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very low temperature), petroleum, petrochemical, chemical and aerospace industries [2]. The design of a

PFHE is a complex process based on trial-and-error method in which geometrical and operational

parameters are selected to satisfy specified requirements such as outlet temperature, heat duty and

pressure drop. Some of commonly used fins in these exchangers are plain, wavy, louver, perforated, offset

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strip and pin fins. Since the average boundary-layer thickness decreases significantly when offset-strip

fins are used, the convection coefficient increases. Therefore, these fins have higher heat transfer

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effectiveness than plain flat fins [3]. Generally, high effectiveness of compact heat exchangers is related

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to the high pressure drop. Thus, finding a relation between heat transfer increment and consumption

power due to high pressure drop is necessary and the analysis based on the second law of

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thermodynamics is used for this aim and could be the best method to evaluate this situation [4-6].

Minimizing entropy generation method (EGM) was described as a modeling and optimization method by
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Bejan [7]. Many works have been dedicated to the optimization of heat exchangers using traditional

mathematical techniques [8– 12]. Recently, application of evolutionary algorithms has gained much
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attention in design of heat exchangers. In the early efforts, GA was successfully used for optimization of
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shell-and-tube heat exchanger [13, 14]. Recently, Genetic Algorithm based on the random search is
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widely used in designing and optimization of compact heat exchangers. Ahmadi et al [15] minimized the

number of entropy generation units and total annual cost as two objective functions in a plate fin heat
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exchanger with offset strip fins. Sanaye and Hajabdollahi [3] used GA to obtain the maximum

effectiveness and the minimum total annual cost as two objective functions in a plate fin heat exchanger
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with offset strip fins. Najafi et al [16] developed a multi objective Genetic Algorithm to obtain a set of
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design geometrical to achieve two conflicting objectives, namely total heat transfer rate and total annual

cost. Xie et al [4] utilized a GA to optimize a compact heat exchanger under pressure drop restriction. The

main objective of optimization was minimization of the total annual cost minimization and total volume.

Mishra et al [2] used Genetic Algorithm to optimize cross flow plate fin heat exchanger on the basis of

the second law of thermodynamics to minimize the number of entropy generation units for a specified

heat duty under given space restriction. In another study, Mishra et al [17] applied GA for optimal design

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plate fin heat exchangers. The authors had considered minimization of total annual cost and total thermo

economic cost as an objective function. Some researchers also have used the Particle Swarm Optimization

algorithm to optimize the heat exchangers. Rao and Patel [5] utilized PSO algorithm to optimize a cross

flow plate fin heat exchanger. The authors had considered minimization of numbers of entropy generation

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units, total volume and total annual cost as target functions. Peng and Xiang [18] presented optimized

PSO algorithm to find optimal design parameters of a plate fin heat exchanger with permitted pressure

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drops. Yousefi et al [19] employed an ICA to optimize a cross-flow plate fin heat exchanger with the aim

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of minimizing the entropy generation units (EGU). Their results also demonstrated the better performance

of ICA over traditional GA. Yousefi et al [20] used an ICA to optimize a PFHE considering minimization

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of total annual cost and total weight under given constrained conditions. Comparing their result to the

GA, they demonstrated that ICA presents shorter computational time and better results for their case.
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Yousefi et al [21] used a GA Hybrid with PSO (GAHPSO) for design optimization of a PFHE. A total

number of seven design parameters are considered as an optimization variable and the constraints are
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handled by penalty function method. Comparing the results using GA and the GAHPSO can converge to
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optimum solution with higher accuracy. In another work, Yousefi et al [22] presented Improved Harmony
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Search Algorithm for design optimization of plate-fin heat exchangers. Their algorithm deals with a large

number of continuous and discrete variables. To handle the constraints in the optimization problem, a
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self-adaptive penalty function scheme is used. Their numerical results indicated that the present approach

can generate optimum solutions with higher accuracy when compared to GA, PSO and GA hybrids with
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PSO.
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Pham et al [23] examined the first application of the Bees Algorithm for optimal design of mechanical

problems. In this study, two standard samples of mechanical design including the design of the welded

beams and the helical springs design were considered. The purposes of this work were comparing the

Bees Algorithm related to the other optimization algorithms. The results showed the high performance of

this algorithm. In the other study, Pham et al [24] presented the first application of the Bees Algorithm for

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optimizing multi objective problems. They design welded beams problem with using multi objective

optimization BA. The results of this work were excellent compared with other optimization algorithms.

In this study, bees optimization algorithm has been used to optimize plate fin heat exchanger and in

order to maximize the effectiveness and to minimize the number of entropy generation units as two

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separate objective functions. The main goals of this study are (i) optimization of effective parameters in

the plate-fin heat exchangers to maximize the effectiveness and to minimize the number of entropy

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generation units and (ii) demonstrating the effectiveness of BA for optimization of cross flow plate-fin

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heat exchanger.

2. Thermal modeling

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Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show a view of a cross flow plate-fin heat exchanger and offset strip fins with

rectangular cross section, respectively.


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The following assumptions have been used in this analysis:

1) For minimizing heat loss to the environment, the Number of fin layers for the cold side is assumed to
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be one more than the hot side (Nb = Na+ 1).


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2) Heat exchanger works in a steady state condition.

3) Heat transfer coefficient and the area distribution are assumed constant and uniform.
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4) Plate’s thickness is assumed negligible, thus, thermal resistance and longitude heat transfer of walls
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can be negligible.
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5) Physical property variation of fluids with temperature is negligible.

6) Fluids are assumed ideal gas.

In this study, while output temperature of fluids is unspecified, the ε–NTU method has been used for

rating performance of the heat exchanger in the modeling process.

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According to the Bejan's methodology [7], rate of entropy generation can be explained in terms of

temperature and pressure:

  T a ,2   Pa ,2    T b ,2   Pb ,2  
S& = m a c p ,a Ln   − R a Ln    + m b c p ,b Ln   − R b Ln    )1 (
T
  a ,1   Pa ,1     T b ,1   Pb ,1  

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In the above equation, Ta,2 , Tb,2 , Pa,2 and Pb,2 are the outlet temperature and pressure of the fluid a and

fluid b respectively, which are determined by considering effectiveness of heat exchanger as:

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c a (T a ,1 −T a ,2 ) cb (T b ,2 −T b ,1 )
ε= = )2 (
c min (T a ,1 −T b ,1 ) c min (T a ,1 −T b ,1 )

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Therefore:

(T a ,1 −T b ,1 )
c min
T a ,2 = T a ,1 − ε

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)3 (
ca

T b ,2 = T b ,1 + ε
c min
cb
(T a ,1 −Tb ,1 )
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Outlet pressure on both side of the fluid flow is similarly obtained as follow:
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Pa ,2 = Pa ,1 − ( Pa ,1 − Pa ,2 ) = Pa ,1 − ∆Pa )5 (
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Pb ,2 = Pb ,1 − ( Pb ,1 − Pb ,2 ) = Pb ,1 − ∆Pb )6 (
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For the cross flow heat exchanger with both fluids unmixed, effectiveness [25] is given as:

{
 1  
ε = 1 − exp   NTU
0.22
exp ( −c r NTU 0.78 ) − 1  }
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)7 (
 c r  

And
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c min
cr = (8)
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c max

By considering thermal resistance of the wall and fouling factor negligible, the number of transfer

units is determined as below:

1 c  1 1 
= min = c min  +  )9 (
NTU AU  ( hA )a ( hA )b 

Generally, heat transfer coefficient is explained in terms of Colburn factor [2] which is given by:

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−2
h = jc pG Pr 3 )10(

G is the mass flux which is obtained as follows:

m
G = )11(
A ff

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Where, Aff is free flow area and in the present work [2] is formulated as:

A ff ,a = ( H a − T a )(1 − n aT a ) Lb N a

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)12(

A ff ,b = ( H b −T b )(1 − nbT b ) La N b )13(

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Heat transfer areas of the present heat exchanger for the two sides [2] are calculated by:

Aa = La Lb N a 1 + {2na ( H a − t a )} )14(

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Ab = La Lb N b 1 + {2nb ( H b − t b )}

Therefore, total heat transfer area of the heat exchanger is formulated as:
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A = Aa + Ab )16(

Heat transfer rate is obtained by:


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Q = ε c min (T a ,1 −Tb ,1 ) )17(


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Also, frictional pressure drops for both sides of the fluid [2] are defined as below:

4f a LaG a2
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∆p a = )18(
2 ρ a d h ,a

4f b LbGb2
∆pb =
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)19(
2 ρb d h ,b
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There are many equations for evaluation of Colburn coefficient and fanning factor for available offset

strip fin. Equations (20) and (21) presented by Manglik and Bergles [26] have been used in this study.

0.1
j = 0.6522 ( Re ) (α ) (δ ) (γ ) × 1 + 5.3 × 10 −5 ( Re ) (α ) (δ ) (γ )
−0.5403 −0.1541 −0.0677 −1.055
0.1499 1.34 0.504 0.456
 (20)
 

0.1
f = 9.6243 ( Re ) (α ) (δ ) (γ ) × 1 + 7.7 × 10 −8 ( Re ) (α ) (δ ) (γ )
−0.7422 −0.1856 −0.2659
0.3053 4.429 0.920 3.767 0.236
 (21)
 

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In these equations,

s t t 1
α= , δ = , γ = , s = −t
H −t l s n

Hydraulic diameter is described for calculating Reynolds number as follows:

4s ( H − t ) l

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Dh =
2 ( sl + ( H − t ) l + t ( H − t ) ) + ts
)22(

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And Reynolds number is obtained by

GD h mD h
Re = = (23)
µ A ff µ

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These equations are valid for 120<Re<104 and for ratios 0.134<α<0.997, 0.012<δ<0.048 and

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0.041<γ<0.121. The above equations correlate f and j factors have 20% accuracy in comparison with

experimental results in laminar, transition and turbulence flow regimes. Thus, there is no need to describe
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the flow regime for a special condition. Therefore; it is very useful in most practical applications.

Finally, the number of entropy generation units is determinated as follows [2, 5]:
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s&
Ns = )24(
c max
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3. Optimization method
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3.1. Bees Algorithm

3.1.1. Bees in nature


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A colony of honey bees can extend itself over long distances (more than 10 km) and in multiple

directions simultaneously to utilize a large number of food sources. A colony prospers by deploying its

foragers to good fields. In principle, flower patches with plentiful amounts of nectar or pollen that can be

collected with less effort should be visited by more bees, whereas patches with less nectar or pollen

should receive fewer bees.

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The foraging process begins in a colony by scout bees being sent to search for promising flower

patches. Scout bees move randomly from one patch to another. During the harvesting season, a colony

continues its exploration and keeping a percentage of the population as scout bees. When they return to

the hive, those scout bees that found a patch which is rated above a certain quality threshold (measured as

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a combination of some constituents, such as sugar content) deposit their nectar or pollen and go to the

dance floor to perform a dance known as the waggle dance.

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This mysterious dance is essential for colony communication, and contains three pieces of information

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regarding a flower patch: the direction in which it will be found, its distance from the hive and its quality

rating (or fitness). This information helps the colony to send its bees to flower patches precisely, without

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using guides or maps. Each individual’s knowledge of the outside environment is gleaned solely from the

waggle dance. This dance enables the colony to evaluate the relative merit of different patches according
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to both the quality of the food they provide and the amount of energy needed to harvest it. After waggle

dancing on the dance floor, the dancer (i.e. the scout bee) goes back to the flower patch with follower
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bees that were waiting inside the hive. More follower bees are sent to more promising patches. This
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allows the colony to gather food quickly and efficiently [27].


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3.1.2. Proposed Bees algorithm

The Bees Algorithm (BA) was developed by a group of researchers at the Manufacturing Engineering
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Center, Cardiff University [27]. This algorithm emulated the behavior of honey bees in foraging for

pollen and nectar to find the optimal solution for both continuous and combinatorial problem. The
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algorithm required six parameters, namely the number of scout bees (n), number of selected sites (m),
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number of top-ranking (elite) sites among the m selected sites (e), number of bees recruited for each non-

elite site (nsp), number of bees recruited for each elite site (nep), and neighborhood size (ngh).

Fig. 3 shows the pseudocode for the algorithm in its simplest form. The optimization process started the

optimization process started with n scout bees randomly spread across the solution space. Each scout bee

was associated with a possible solution to the problem. The fitnesses of the sites visited by the scout bees

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are evaluated in step 2. In step 4, bees that have the highest fitnesses are chosen as “selected bees” and

the best m sites visited by them are chosen for neighborhood search. Then, in steps 5 and 6, the algorithm

conducts searches in the neighborhood of the selected sites. The bees for the neighborhood search can be

chosen directly according to the fitnesses associated with the sites they are visiting. In the neighborhood

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search procedure, more forager bees were sent in the neighborhood of the elite (e) sites, and fewer bees

around the non-elite (m-e) sites. According to this strategy, the foraging effort was concentrated on the

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very best (i.e. elite) solutions. That is nep bees were sent to forage around the elite sites, while the area

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around the non-elite locations was exploited by nsp bees. Within the given neighborhood area (i.e. flower

patch size), some of the newly generated solutions were expected to be better than that found by the scout

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bees. As shown in Fig. 4, only the best bee is chosen to advertise its source after which the center of the

neighborhood field is shifted to the position of the best bee (i.e. from A to B). However, in step 6, for
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each patch only the bee with the highest fitness will be selected to form the next bee population. In nature,

there is no such a restriction. This restriction is introduced here to reduce the number of points to be
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explored. In step 7, in the global search procedure, the unselected scout bees (n-m) were used to explore
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at random the solution space. This kind of search was to avoid bees being trapped at local optima. At the
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end of each cycle, a new list of scout bees was formed, comprising the fittest solutions from each

neighborhood (neighborhood search results), and the new randomly generated solutions (global search
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results). This list would be sorted in the next iteration and used for a new phase of optimization. The

combination of exploitative (neighborhood) and explorative (global) search would be able to capture the
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best solution quickly and efficiently. These steps were repeated until the stopping criterion was met [28].
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The flowchart of the algorithm is shown in Fig. 5.

3.2. Objective functions and design parameters

In this present study, the optimization targets are two single-objective functions. The first is the

maximization of effectiveness and second objective is the minimization of the number of entropy

generation units.

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The first objective function, the effectiveness is determined as below:

{
 1  
ε = 1 − exp   NTU
 c r 
0.22
}
exp ( −c r NTU 0.78 ) − 1 (25)

and the second objective function, number of entropy generation units are calculated as follows.

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s&
Ns = (26)
c max

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Putting all the relevant values, the above equation can be simplified and expressed as,

ca c T b ,1 R ∆P c c T a ,1 R ∆P
Ns = [Ln {1 − ε min (1 − )} − a Ln {1 − a }] + b [Ln {1 − ε min ( − 1)} − b Ln {1 − b }] (27)

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c min ca T a ,1 C p ,a Pa ,1 c max cb T b ,1 C p ,b Pb ,1

3.3. Constraint handling

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The general optimization problem may be stated mathematically as [24]:

Minimize fi(x), i=1,2,…,l


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X=( x1, x2, …, xk )T (28)
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Subject to Cj(X)=0 j=1,2, …, p
(29)
hr(X) ≥0 r=1,2,…, q
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Where fi(x) are the l objective functions, X is the column vector of the k independent variables, and
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Cj(X) are p termed equality constraints, and those of form hr(X) are q inequality constraints. Here in the

present work, the objective functions are maximization of the effectiveness and minimization of the
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number of entropy generation units. Moreover, in order to consider the effect of constraints violation
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during the optimization process, an arbitrary large value known as penalty function is also added to the

objective function. Therefore, the objective function for the present work is represented as [2, 5]:
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m
Minimize f ( x ) = f ( x ) + ∑ R1 ( g i ( x ) )
2
(30)
j =1

That R1 is the penalty parameter which has a large value (for example say 500). The term

∑ R ( g ( x ) ) takes into account the effect of constraints violation. For all values of penalty parameter
2
1 i
j =1

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( R1 ), the Bees Algorithm is not sensitive to penalty function. So, the right term of above equation is

replaced with a large constant number (static penalty function) similar to scheme 1 from reference [22].

A minimum of function –f is a maximum of function f. That is, for converting the minimization

problem to maximization problem, it is enough to multiple the minus in the objective function.

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3.4. Relation between the bee behavior and the algorithm applied for the optimization

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The correlation between the bee behavior and Bees Algorithm parameters and step by step description

of BA applied for the optimization of the plate-fin heat exchanger is presented in Fig. 6.

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4. Computational results

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4.1. Case study A
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To investigate the application of proposed algorithm, a case study taken from the work of Kakac and
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Liu is considered [29]. A plate-fin heat exchanger of gas to air with cross flow having heat duty 3300 of

kW is needed to be designed separately for the maximum effectiveness and minimum number of entropy
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generation units. Maximum dimension of the heat exchanger is 2×3×2 m. Pressures drops of the hot and
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cold flow are limited to 7.5 kPa and 4.5 kPa, respectively. The offset strip fin surface is used on the gas

and air sides. The other specifications of operation conditions have been mentioned in Table 1.
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In this study the seven design variables such as the length of hot flow, length of cold flow, fin

frequency, number of hot side layers, fin strip length, fin height and fin thickness are selected as a
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optimization variables. All variables are continuous except the number of hot side layers. The thermal
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conductivity of the wall is 15 kW/m.K, and the plate thickness is considered to be constant at 0.5 ×10-3 m

and is not to be optimized. The variation ranges of the variables have been mentioned in Table 2.

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4.1.1. Results of Case study A

To optimize the heat duty and permitted pressure drop, the main problem is the finding for variable

design that maximizes the heat effectiveness of heat exchanger. Fig. 7 shows the effectiveness

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convergence diagram as objective function without considering the heat duty constraint. A significant

decrease in the objective function has been observed in the beginning of the evaluation process after 9

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iterations. After approximately 60 iterations, the changes in the objective function become relatively low.

Finally, the maximum efficiency of the plate-fin heat exchanger is found after 150 iterations with the

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value of 0.830. Table 3 shows the preliminary design of the plate-fin heat exchanger and optimum

structure which is obtained from Bees Algorithm. The increment of 6.68 % has been observed in

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efficiency of heat exchanger by optimization method in comparison with preliminary design. It has been

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shown that for maximizing effectiveness, fin frequency decreased from 500 to 388.9 m-1 while the fin

offset length is increased from 6×10-3 to 8.57 ×10-3 m. Fig. 8 shows the effectiveness convergence
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diagram by considering heat duty constraint. Similarly, in this case, the maximum effectiveness of the

plate-fin heat exchanger is converged to the value of 0.7972 after 15 iterations. Table 4 shows the
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preliminary design of the plate fin heat exchanger and optimized structure which is obtained from BA by
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considering the heat duty constraint. In this case, the increment of 2.46 % has been made in heat

exchanger effectiveness by optimization method in comparison with preliminary design. Besides, the fin
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frequency has decreased from 500 to 400.8 while the fin offset length has increased from 6×10-3 to

7.07×10-3 m.
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4.1.2. A comparison between present algorithm with GA and PSO

The efficiency of the Bees Algorithm in comparison with the GA [2] and PSO [5] is investigated. The

results are demonstrated in Table 5. The sample algorithm has been programmed by MATLAB software

and the result of this algorithm is the average of 10 times of the execution of the related computer code.

The mentioned results indicate that the present BA can converge to the optimum values with higher

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accuracy in comparison with references. The results from BA in the number of entropy generation unit's

minimization are 16.5 % and 0.27 % better than the results of GA and PSO, respectively. Fig. 9 shows the

convergence of number of entropy generation units as objective function for the considered example.

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4.2. Case study B

For comparison between the present algorithm and Imperialist Competitive Algorithm, a case study

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selected from references [19]. A gas to air single pass cross-flow heat exchanger has a heat duty equal to

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1069.8 kW. This exchanger must be designed for the minimum number of entropy generation units.

Maximum dimension of the exchanger is 1×1×1 m. Gas and air inlet temperatures of hot and cold flow

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are considered 900 K and 200 K, respectively. Also, gas and air mass flow rates are 1.66 kg/s and 2.00

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kg/s, respectively. Pressure drops are set to be limited to 9.50 kPa and 8.00 kPa. The gas and air inlet

pressures are 160 kPa and 200 kPa absolute. The offset strip fin surface is used on the gas and air sides.
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The plate thickness is set at 0.5×10-3 m and is not an optimization variable. Operating conditions and the

cost function constant values required for cost evaluation are listed in Table 6.
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In this study, a total number of seven parameters, namely hot flow length, cold flow length, number of
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hot side layers, fin frequency, fin thickness, fin height and fin strip length are considered as optimization

variables. All variables except the number of hot side layers are continuous. Thickness of the plate is
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considered to be constant at 0.5×10-3 m and is not to be optimized. The variation ranges of the variables

are shown in Table 7.


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4.2.1. Results of Case study B

As shown as in Table 8, In this case study, the cross-section of the flow has been increased due to a

decrease in the lance length of the fin and the number of layers and an increase in the fin height.

Therefore, the mass flux of flow has been decreased by increasing the cross-section of the flow. By

decreasing the hot stream flow length and increasing the cold stream flow length, the pressure drop at hot

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and cold side has decreased and increased, respectively. Combination of these factors causing the pressure

drop at hot and cold sides is decreased than the ICA and GA in value of 39 % and 31 %, and 82 % and 11

%, respectively.

4.2.2. A comparison between present algorithm with ICA and GA

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The efficiency of the proposed algorithm in comparison with the ICA and GA is evaluated. The results

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are illustrated in Table 9. The Bees Algorithm programmed in MATLAB and run on an Intel® Core™ i5

CPU. The result of this algorithm is the average of 10 times of the execution of the related computer code.

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The results indicated the higher accuracy of proposed algorithm to converge the optimum value in

comparison with references. The obtained results from BA in the number of entropy generation unit's

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minimization are 2.5 % and 5.2 % better than the results of ICA and GA, respectively. Fig. 10 shows the
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convergence of number of entropy generation units as an objective function for this case study.
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4.2.3. A comparison among the proposed algorithm, ICA, GA, IHS and GAHPSO

To prove the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, a comparison between this algorithm with the
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algorithms of ICA and GA is discussed in terms of computational time and accuracy convergence to the
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optimal value [20]. In addition to, the objective function of the number of EGU has been studied for

compare with GA and PSO, objective functions of the total pressure drop and the total heat transfer area
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has been studied for compare with GAHPSO and Improved Harmony Search Algorithm with static

penalty parameter (IHS scheme 1) [21, 22]. Results are shown in Table 9.
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Similar to ICA, GA, IHS and GAHPSO, this algorithm's population size and number of iterations are

set to 100 and 200, respectively. This algorithm is programmed in MATLAB and run on an Intel® Core™

i5. The mentioned CPU time is the average of 10 executions of the computer program. In case 1, the

results of the BA 2.5 % and 5.2 % better than the results of the ICA and GA, respectively. In case 2, the

results of the BA similar to GAHPSO and IHS but 25 % better than the results of GA. Also, in case 3, the

results of the BA 5.7 %, 5.4 % and 24.2 % better than the results of the GAHPSO, IHS and GA,

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respectively. In case 2 and 3, the computational time of BA is less than GA, IHS and GAHPSO. Also, in

all case studies the results obtained by BA have higher accuracy rather than the preliminary design.

Therefore; the BA is higher speed and accuracy in converging to the optimum value.

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5. Conclusions

This study showed the successful usage of the Bees Algorithm in the design of plate-fin compact heat

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exchanger. A generalized procedure has been developed to carry out the optimization to find the

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maximum of the effectiveness and minimum of the number of entropy generation units of the heat

exchangers based on the ε–NTU method and the Bees algorithm technique. This algorithm is used in most

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of heat engineering problems that consist of several discrete and continuous variables and the most

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discontinuity. Based on the applications, the seven design parameters were mentioned as optimization

variables. The constraints have been used adding a penalty function to the objective function. To examine
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capability and accuracy of this algorithm, two case studies were selected from the references. The

obtained values showed the better results of BA in comparison with preliminary design. Also, it has been
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shown that the BA is more accurate in convergence to the optimized results in comparison with GA, PSO
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and ICA. It is concluded that the BA algorithm can provide a strong ability of auto-search and combined

optimization in the optimization design of heat exchangers compared to the traditional designs in which a
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trial-and error process may be involved. By application of the BA algorithm in the optimal design the heat

exchanger configurations or structures can be optimized according to different design objectives such as
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minimum surface area or cost. The process of offered design for plate fin heat exchanger in this study
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using BA can be used for other types of heat exchangers such as fin and tube heat exchangers, shell and

tube heat exchangers and recuperates. Moreover, other types of fins such as plain, perforated, wavy and

louvered fins can be applied on both cold and hot sides of the heat exchanger rather than the offset strip

fins which are applied on the both side in the present work. Therefore, BA can be applied in design of

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different types of heat exchangers to search for the optimum designs based on the desired objectives and

can be used for designers to start with or to have an initial guess.

Appendices

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In this section, we will review a brief description of the other algorithms that we studied:

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A. Particle Swarm Optimization

PSO is a heuristic optimization methodology which inspire from searching animals for foods. This

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method has some similarities with other heuristic optimization methods:

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1- Population-based. Heuristic methods use and change some solutions. In this method, each solution of

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problem or each location in the search space is called particle.

2- Iteration based. The solutions are changed and updated in each iteration.
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3- Stochastic initialization and search procedure. Generally, solutions of the heuristic methods

initialized randomly. Also, in each iteration, some random components are used to update the
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solutions.
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In comparison with other heuristic methods, PSO has some specific features:

1- Each particle has a feature which is called velocity and is used to update solutions.
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2- The best location for each particle which is obtain until iteration k, Pbest and the best location until

iteration k, Gbest are saved and will be used to update the particle locations.
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Assume that the search space is n-dimensional, then the particle can be display by a n-dimensional vector
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Xi = [xi1,xi2,.,xin]T, and velocity Vi = [vi1,vi2,.,vin]T, where i= 1,2,..,N and N is the size of population [30].

In PSO, the following expressions are used to update the particle's location:

V i k +1 = w k
×V i k + c1 × rand 1 × ( Pbest ,i − x ik )
(A.1)
+c 2 × rand 2 × (G best − x ik )

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x ik +1 = x ik + χ ×V i k +1 (A.2)

where, wk is the inertia coefficient, χ is the maximum and minimum allowed velocity, c1 and c2 express

the cognitive and social parameters and rand1 and rand2 are two uniform random functions in the range of

[0,1].

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The inertia coefficient is used to adjust the influence of the velocity at the previous iteration on the current

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velocity. Larger values of the w lead to better global searching and lower ones help to better local search.

Setting w to one at the start of the search and gradual decrease toward zero at the end of search is a good

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choice. Values of the other used parameters are as follows: χ= 0.7, c1 = c2 =2 [30], But to avoid local

optimum and toward global solution, this parameter can be determined dynamically [31]. As regards, c1

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is associated to learning factor from self-experimental particle and c2 is learning factor from other
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particle. Thus, if at the initial optimization procedure c1 is big and c2 is small and at the end of

optimization procedure c1 is small and c2 is big, the algorithm moves to the absolute optimum solution
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[32].
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B. Genetic Algorithm
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A Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used to search approximate solutions of combinatorial optimization

problems. GA begins with a set of solutions called population. Each solution is represented by a set of bit
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string (chromosome). Solutions from one population are taken and used to form a new population. Then,

Solutions which are selected to form new solutions (offspring) are selected according to their fitness (The
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higher fitness value, the higher chances to reproduce). In general, process of GA can be summarized in 6
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steps:

1. [Start] Generate random population of n chromosomes

2. [Fitness] Evaluate the fitness f(x) of each chromosome x in the population

3. [New population] Create a new population by repeating following steps until the new population is

complete

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3.1. [Selection] Select two parent chromosomes from a population according to their fitness (the

bigger fitness, the higher chance to be selected)

3.2. [Crossover] With a crossover probability, crossover parents to form new offsprings (children). If

no crossover is performed, offspring is the exact copy of parents.

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3.3. [Mutation] With a mutation probability, mutate new offspring at each locus (position in

chromosome).

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3.4. [Accepting] Place new offspring in the new population

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4. [Replace] Use new generated population for a further run of the algorithm

5. [Test] If the end condition is satisfied, stop, and return the best solution in current population

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6. [Loop] Go to step 2

C. Imperialist competitive algorithm


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The Imperialist Competition Algorithm (ICA) was first proposed by Atashpaz-Gargari and Lucas [33].

It is inspired by the imperialistic competition. It starts with an initial population called colonies. The
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colonies are then categorized into two groups namely; imperialists (best solutions) and colonies (rest of
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the solutions). The imperialists try to absorb more colonies to their empire. The colonies will change

according to the policies of imperialists. The colonies may take the place of their imperialist if they
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become stronger than it (propose a better solution). This algorithm has been successfully applied to PSS

design [34] and data clustering [35]. The flowchart of proposed algorithm is depicted in Fig. C. 1.
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[3] S. Sanaye, H. Hajabdollahi, Thermal-economic multi-objective optimization of plate fin heat exchanger using

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[6] N. Sahiti, F. Krasniqi, Xh. Fejzullahu, J. Bunjaku, A. Muriqi, Entropy generation minimization of a double-pipe
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[14] M.C. Tayal, Y. Fu, U.M. Diwekar, Optimal design of heat exchangers: a genetic algorithm framework, Ind.

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[15] P. Ahmadi, H. Hajabdollahi, I. Dincer, Cost and Entropy Generation Minimization of a Cross-Flow Plate Fin

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genetic algorithm, Appl. Therm. Eng. 31 (2011) 1839-1847.

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[17] M. Mishra, P. K. Das, S. Sarangi, Optimum design of cross flow plate-fin heat exchangers through Genetic

Algorithm, Int. J. Heat Exchang. 5 (2) (2004) 379-402.

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[18] H. Peng, L. Xiang, Optimal design approach for the plate-fin heat exchangers using neural networks cooperated

with genetic algorithms, Appl. Therm. Eng. 28 (2008) 642-650.

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[19] M. Yousefi, A.N. Darus, H. Mohammadi, Second law based optimization of a plate fin heat exchanger using

Imperialist Competitive Algorithm, Int. J. Phys. Sci. 6 (20) (2011) 4749-4759.

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[20] M. Yousefi, A.N. Darus, H. Mohammadi, An imperialist competitive algorithm for optimal design of plate-fin

heat exchangers, Int. J. Heat Mass Trans. 55 (11-12) (2012) 3178-3185.


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[21] M. Yousefi, R. Enayatifar, A.N. Darus, Optimal design of plate-fin heat exchangers by a hybrid evolutionary

algorithm, Int. Commun. Heat Mass. 39 (2012) 258-263.


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[22] M. Yousefi, R. Enayatifar, A.N. Darus, H. Mohammadi, A.H. Abdullah, Optimization of plate-fin heat

exchangers by an improved harmony search algorithm, Appl. Therm. Eng. 50 (2013) 877-885.
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[23] D.T. Pham, A. Ghanbarzadeh, S. Otri, Optimal design of mechanical components using the bees algorithm,
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Virtual Conference on Intelligent Production Machines and Systems (IPROMS 2007), Scotland, 242 (2007) 111-

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[25] F.P. Incropera, D.P. DeWitt, Fundamentals of heat and mass transfer, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1988.
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[26] R. Manglik, A. Bergles, Heat transfer and pressure drop correlations for the rectangular offset strip fin compact

heat exchanger, Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci. 10 (2) (1995) 171-180.

[27] D. Pham, A. Ghanbarzadeh, E. Koc, S. Otri, S. Rahim, and M. Zaidi, The bees Algorithm. A

novel tool for complex optimization problems, in proceedings of the 2nd International Virtual Conference

on Intelligent Production Machines and Systems, Elsevier Oxford, (2006) 454–459.

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[28] S. Otri, improving the bees algorithm for complex optimization, PhD thesis, Cardiff University, United

Kingdom, 2011.

[29] S. Kakac, H. Liu, Heat exchanger selection rating and thermal design, CRC Press LLC, Florida, 2002.

[30] K. E. Parasopoulos, M.N. Vrahatis, On the computation of all global minimizers through particle swarm

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optimization, IEEE Trans. Evol. Comput. 8(3) (2004).

[31] P. K. Tripathi, S. Bandyopadhyay, S.K. Pa, Multi-Objective particle swarm optimization with time variant

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inertia and acceleration coefficients, Inf. Sci. 177 (2007) 5033–49.

[32] A. Kashefi Kaviani, G.H. Riyahi, SH.M. Kouhsari, Optimal design of a reliable hydrogen-based stand-alone

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wind/PV generating system, considering component outages, Renew. Energ. 34 (2009) 2380-2390.

[33] E. Atashpaz-Gargari and C. Lucas, Imperialist competitive Algorithm: An Algorithm for optimization inspired

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by imperialistic competition, in Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2007, IEEE Congress, (2007) 4661–4667.

[34] A. Jalilvand, S. Behzadpoor, and M. Hashemi, Imperialist competitive Algorithm-based design of PSS to
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improve the power system, Power Electronics, Drives and Energy Systems (PEDES), 2010 Joint International

Conference, India, (2010) 1 –5.


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[35] T. Niknam, E. T. Fard, N. Pourjafarian, and A. Rousta, An efficient hybrid Algorithm based on modified

imperialist competitive Algorithm and k-means for data clustering, Eng. Appl. Artif. Intel. 24 (2) (2011) 306– 317.
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List of captions figures

Fig. 1. A view of a plate fin heat exchanger

Fig. 2. Detailed view of an offset strip fin

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Fig. 3. Graphical Explanation of the Neighborhood

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Fig. 4. Pseudocode of the BA

Fig. 5. Flowchart of the Standard Bees Algorithm

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Fig. 6. Step by step description of BA applied for the optimization of the plate-fin heat exchanger

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Fig. 7. Evolution process for maximum effectiveness without heat duty constrains

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Fig. 8. Evolution process for maximum effectiveness with heat duty constraints

Fig. 9. Convergence of the objective of number of entropy generation units


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Fig. 10. Convergence of the objective of number of entropy generation units
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Fig. C.1. Flowchart of the ICA algorithm


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Table 1

The operating conditions of the PFHE (input data for the model) [29].

Parameters Hot side Cold side

Mass flow rate (kg.s-1) 25.4 25

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460 300

Input temperature (℃)

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Pressure (kPa) 100 900

Specific heat (J.kg-1K-1) 1060 1060

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Density (kg.m-3) 0.54 4.86

Dynamics viscosity (Ns.m-2)

Prandtl number
3.2×10-5

0.69
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0.69

Maximum pressure drop (kPa) 7.5 4.5


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Table 2

Variation ranges of design parameters [29].

Parameters Minimum Maximum

Hot flow length(m) 0.1 2

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Cold flow length(m) 0.1 3
-3 -3
Fin height (m) 2×10 10×10

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-3 -3
Fin thickness (m) 0.1×10 0.2×10

Fin frequency (m-1) 100 1000

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-3 -3
Fin offset length (m) 1×10 10×10

Number of hot side layers 1 200

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Table 3

The result of preliminary design and Bees Algorithm for maximizing effectiveness without heat duty constraint.

Variables preliminary design [29] Optimal design(this study)

hot flow length (m) 0.9 1.654

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Cold flow length (m) 1.8 2.99
-3 -3
Fin height (m) 5.7×10 5.72×10

-3 -3
Fin thickness (m) 0.15×10 0.169×10

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Fin frequency (m-1) 500 388.9

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-3 -3
Fin offset length (m) 6×10 8.57×10

Number of hot side Layers 149 165

Hot flow pressure drop (kPa) 15 7.5

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Cold flow pressure drop (kPa) 10 3.38

No-flow length (m) AN


1.79 1.99

Effectiveness 0.778 0.83


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Table 4

The result of preliminary design and Bees Algorithm for maximizing effectiveness with heat duty constraint.

Variables preliminary design [29] Optimal design(this study)

Hot flow length (m) 0.9 1.385

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Cold flow length (m) 1.8 2.626
-3 -3
Fin height (m) 5.7×10 7.337×10

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-3 -3
Fin thickness (m) 0.15×10 0.137×10

Fin frequency (m-1) 500 400.8

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-3 -3
Fin offset length (m) 6×10 7.07×10

Number of hot side Layers 149 126

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Hot flow pressure drop (kPa) 15 7.4

Cold flow pressure drop (kPa)

No-flow length (m)


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1.79
3.8

1.92
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Effectiveness 0.778 0.7972
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Table 5

Comparison results of the GA, PSO and BA for minimum number of entropy generation units.

Parameters PSO [5] GA [2] BA

Hot stream flow length (m) 0.925 0.994 0.995

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Cold stream flow length (m) 0.996 0.887 0.995

Fin height (m) 9.98×10-3 9.43×10-3 9.99×10-3

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Fin frequency 442.9 534.9 405.69

Fin thickness (m) 0.1×10-3 0.146×10-3 0.167×10-3

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-3 -3 -3
Lance length of the fin (m) 9.8×10 6.3×10 9.998×10

Number of hot side layers 10 8 10

Pressure drop at hot side (kPa) 3.331 5.287 1.75

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Pressure drop at cold side (kPa) 1.834 2.216 1.143

No-flow length (m)


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0.214 0.169 0.218

Effectiveness 0.8327 0.8277 0.8320


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Number of entropy generation units 0.053028 0.063332 0.052886
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Table 6

The operating conditions of the PFHE (input data for the model) [19].

Parameters Hot side Cold side

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Mass flow rate (kg.s-1) 1.66 2

900 200

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Input temperature (℃)

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Pressure (kPa) 160 200

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Specific heat (J.kg-1K-1) 1122 1073

Density (kg.m-3) 0.6296 AN 0.9638

Dynamics viscosity (Ns.m-2) 401×10-7 336×10-7


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Prandtl number 0.731 0.694

Maximum pressure drop (kPa) 9.5 8


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Table 7

Variation ranges of design parameters [19].

Parameters Minimum Maximum

Hot flow length(m) 0.1 1

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Cold flow length(m) 0.1 1
-3 -3
Fin height (m) 2×10 10×10

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-3 -3
Fin thickness (m) 0.1×10 0.2×10

Fin frequency (m-1) 100 1000

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-3 -3
Fin offset length (m) 1×10 10×10

Number of hot side layers 1 200

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Table 8

Comparison results of the ICA, GA and BA for minimum number of entropy generation units.

Parameters ICA [19] GA [19] BA

Hot stream flow length (m) 1 0.95 0.997

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Cold stream flow length (m) 0.88 0.44 0.940
-3 -3 -3
Fin height (m) 5×10 7.2×10 8.33×10

Fin frequency (m-1) 240 417 257.02

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Fin thickness (m) 0.19×10-3 0.1×10-3 0.166×10-3

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-3 -3 -3
Lance length of the fin (m) 9.6×10 7.2×10 9.51×10

Number of hot side fin layers 77 57 56

Pressure drop at hot side (kPa) 1.23 4.2 0.741

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Pressure drop at cold side (kPa) 0.67 0.52 0.460

No-flow length (m) AN


0.87 0.87 0.997

Convergence iterations 40 30 44
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Effectiveness 0.821 0.821 0.826

Number of entropy generation units 0.1374 0.1416 0.1341


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Table 9

Comparison results of the ICA, GA, GAHPSO, IHS and BA for Case study B

Parameters Preliminary design ICA [20] GA [20] BA

Case 1 Number of EGU 0.1576 0.1374 0.1416 0.1341

CPU time (s) - - - 2.32

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Parameters Preliminary design PSO [21] GA [21] GAHPSO [21] HIS [22] BA

Case 2 Total pressure drop (kPa) 1.82 0.063 0.070 0.056 0.056 0.056

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CPU time (s) - 3.49 4.35 3.25 3.05 2.45

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Case 3 Heat transfer area (m2) 142.75 123.5 132.5 112.7 112.4 106.6

CPU time (s) - 3.59 4.41 3.32 3.17 2.93

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Fig. 1. A view of a plate-fin heat exchanger

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Fig. 2. Detailed view of an offset strip fin

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1. Initialize population with random solutions.

2. Evaluate fitness of the population.

3. While (stopping criterion not met)

//Forming new population.

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4. Select sites for neighborhood search.

5. Recruit bees for selected sites (more bees for best e sites) and evaluate the fitness.

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6. Select the fittest bee from each patch.

7. Assign remaining bees to search randomly and evaluate their fitness.

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8. End While.

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Fig. 3. Pseudocode of the BA

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Fig. 4. Graphical Explanation of the Neighborhood Search

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Neighborhood Search

Random Initialization (n)


Selection (n)

Elite Sites e Best Sites m-e


Fitness Evaluation
nep Bees per Patch nsp Bees per Patch

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Fitness Evaluation Fitness Evaluation
Local search
Select Patch Fittest Select Patch Fittest

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Global search Select the m Fittest Bees
from all Patch

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New Population
Random (n-m)

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Fitness Evaluation
No
Converged? AN
Yes
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Solution
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Fig. 5. Flowchart of the Standard Bees Algorithm


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Input: Plate fin heat exchanger variables


Output: Minimum or maximum of objective function
STEP 1:

Initialize the general parameters of BA, namely:


a) Number of scout bees (n),
b) Number of sites selected out of n visited sites (m),
c) Number of best sites out of m selected sites (e),

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d) Number of bees recruited for best e sites (nep),
e) Number of bees recruited for the other (m-e) selected sites (nsp),
f) Neighborhood size [ngh],
Range of decision variables : [La , Lb , H , N , t , l , n] = Variablek = [xkL , xkU]

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STEP 2:

Evaluate n random bees into search space


FOR k=1:7

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Pop(:, k)= xkL + (xkU - xkL) * rand (1, n),
END

STEP 3:

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WHILE (stopping criterion not met)

STEP 4:

Evaluate fitness of the population + Penalty function*,


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STEP 5:
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Sort all population according to their corresponding fitnesses,
Sites visited bees that have the highest fitnesses are chosen for neighborhood search,
// Neighborhood Search
Recruit nep (nsp) bees (to the radius of neighborhood defined) selected sites (nep> nsp),
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FOR i=1: e AND (e+1: m)


FOR q=1: nep AND (nsp)
FOR k =1: 7
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Neighborhood Pop (q, k) = (Pop(i, k) - ngh(k)) + ((Pop(i, k) + ngh(k)) - (Pop(i, k) - ngh(k))) * rand,
IF Neighborhood Pop (q, k) < xkL
Neighborhood Pop (q, k) = xkL,
ELSE IF Neighborhood Pop (q, k) > xkU
Neighborhood Pop (q, k) = xkU,
END
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END
END
Evaluate fitness of the each patch population + Penalty function*
For each patch only the bee with the highest fitness will be selected to form the next bee population.
END
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Select m elite sites from neighborhood search,


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STEP 6:

New Pop = m fittest Bees from all Patch + Random (n-m) remaining bees,
End While

*IF Constraints are satisfied


Fitness function = entropy generation units OR effectiveness
ELSE
Fitness function = large value
END

Fig. 6. Step by step description of BA applied for the optimization of the plate-fin heat exchanger
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Fig. 7. Evolution process for maximum effectiveness without heat duty constrains.

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Fig. 8. Evolution process for maximum effectiveness with heat duty constraints.

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Fig. 9. Convergence of the objective of number of entropy generation units

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Fig. 10. Convergence of the objective of number of entropy generation units

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Nomenclature

A heat exchanger surface area (m2) R specific gas constant (J/kg K)

Aff free flow area (m2) R1 penalty parameter

C heat capacity rate (W/K) Re Reynolds number

Cp specific heat (J/kg.K) s fin spacing (m)

PT
Cr Cmin/Cmax S& rate of entropy generation (W/K)

Dh hydraulic diameter (m) t fin thickness (m)

RI
f fanning friction factor T temperature (K)

f(x) objective function U overall heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)

SC
g(x) Constraint

G mass flux velocity (kg/m2s) Greek symbols

h convective heat transfer coefficient ( W/m2K) µ viscosity

U
H height of fin (m) ρ density

Lf
Colburn factor

lance length of the fin (m)


AN ε

∆p
effectiveness

pressure drop

L heat exchanger length (m) ∆S entropy difference (W/kg.K)


M
m mass flow rate (kg/s)

n fin frequency (fin/m) Subscripts


D

Na ,Nb number of fin layers for fluid a and b a,b fluid a and b
TE

Ns number of entropy generation units (EGU) i,j,r variable number

NTU number of transfer units 1 inlet

P pressure (kPa) 2 outlet


EP

Pr Prandtl number max maximum

Q heat duty (W) min minimum


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PT
RI
U SC
AN
M
D
TE
EP

Fig. C. 1. Flowchart of the ICA algorithm [35]


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