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The conversion, utilization, and recovery of energy in every industrial, commercial, and domestic application involve a heat transfer process. Some common examples are coming from domestic aplication to industrial ones. Improved heat exchange, over and above that in the usual or standard practice, can significantly improve the thermal efficiency in such applications as well as the economics of their design and operation. The engineering cognizance of the need to increase the thermal performance of heat based equipments (ovens, furnaces, heat exchangers), thereby effecting energy, material, and cost savings as well as a consequential mitigation of environmental degradation had led to the development and use of many heat transfer enhancement techniques. These methods have in the past been referred to variously as augmentation and intensification, among other terms. There is an enormous database of technical literature on the subject, now estimated at over 9000 technical papers and reports, which has been disseminated periodically in numerous bibliographic reports, reviews, and monographs and edited texts. An effort that began more than 140 years ago, when the first attempt to enhance heat transfer coefficients in condensing steam was reported in the classical study by J. P. Joule (1861), continues to be a major research and development activity. Enhancement techniques essentially reduce, for example, the thermal resistance in a conventional heat exchanger by promoting higher convective heat transfer coefficient with or without surface area increases (as represented by fins or extended surfaces). As a result, the size of a heat exchanger can be reduced, or the heat duty of an existing exchanger can be increased, or the exchanger’s operating approach temperature difference can be decreased. The latter is particularly useful in thermal processing of biochemical, food, plastic, and pharmaceutical media, to avoid thermal degradation of the end product. On the other hand, heat exchange systems in spacecraft, electronic devices, and medical applications, for example, may rely primarily on enhanced thermal performance for their successful operation. The commercialization of enhancement techniques, where the technology has been transferred from the research laboratory to full-scale industrial use of those that are more effective and, has also led to a larger number of patents.
Classification of Enhancement Techniques
Sixteen different enhancement techniques have been identified by A.E. Bergles, which can be classified broadly as passive and active techniques. A list of the various methods or devices under each of these two categories is given in Table 1. The primary distinguishing feature is that unlike active methods, passive techniques do not require direct input of external power. They generally use surface or geometrical modifications to the flow channel, or incorporate an insert, material, or additional device. Except for extended surfaces, which increase the effective heat transfer surface area, these passive schemes promote higher heat transfer coefficients by disturbing or altering the existing flow behavior. This, however, is accompanied by an increase in the pressure drop. In the case of active techniques, the addition of external power essentially facilitates the desired flow modification and the concomitant improvement in the rate of heat transfer. The use
for boiling systems. where the roughness is much smaller than what affects single-phase heat transfer. have led to modified finned surfaces that also tend to improve the heat transfer coefficients by disturbing the flow field in addition to increasing the surface area. primarily in single-phase flows. Additives for liquids include the addition of solid particles. 8. 3 Extended surfaces. The tube curvature due to coiling produces secondary flows or Dean vortices. Their geometric features range from random sand-grain roughness to discrete threedimensional surface protuberances. and they improve energy transport indirectly at the heat exchange surface by “displacing” the fluid from the heated or cooled surface of the duct with bulk fluid from the core flow. and do not increase the heat transfer surface area. Treated surfaces are heat transfer surfaces that have a fine-scale alteration to their finish or coating.of two or more techniques (passive and/or active) in conjunction constitutes compound enhancement. forced convection boiling or condensation. Coiled tubes are what the name suggests. twisted ducts. The alteration could be continuous or discontinuous. and gas bubbles in single-phase flows. however. 7. Rough surfaces are generally surface modifications that promote turbulence in the flow field. and type and process application of the heat exchanger. and various forms of altered (tangential to axial direction) flow arrangements. 6. more commonly referred to as finned surfaces. 2. and convective mass transfer). The newer developments. In considering their specific applications. The effectiveness of any of these methods is strongly dependent on the mode of heat transfer (single-phase free or forced convection. pool boiling. The descriptions of passive techniques are as follows: 1. Swirl flow devices produce and superimpose swirl or secondary recirculation on the axial flow in a channel. and they are used primarily for boiling and condensing duties. which promote higher heat transfer coefficients in single-phase flows as well as in most regions of boiling. a descriptive characterization of each of the 16 techniques is useful in assessing their potential. which direct and improve the flow of liquid to boiling surfaces and from condensing surfaces. which usually depress the surface tension of the liquid. provide an effective heat transfer surface area enlargement. 4. and trace additives. Displaced enhancement devices are inserts that are used primarily in confined forced convection. They include helical strip or cored screw-type tube inserts. . and they lead to relatively more compact heat exchangers. Surface tension devices consist of wicking or grooved surfaces. soluble trace additives. and they can be used for single-phase as well as two-phase flows. Plain fins have been used routinely in many heat exchangers. 5.
Electrostatic fields. and the somewhat arbitrarily fuzzy distinctions between them should be recognized. Surface vibration has been applied primarily.9. can be applied in heat exchange systems involving dielectric fluids. which could be in the form of electric or magnetic fields. Mechanical aids are those that stir the fluid by mechanical mean orby rotating the surface. Fluid vibration or fluid pulsation. or a combination of the two. A good example to illustrate this is the classification of some of the newer structured surfaces used in boiling as treated. 2. As acknowledged by prof. pertains to the method of injecting the same or a different fluid into the main bulk fluid either through a porous heat transfer interface or upstream of the heat transfer section.0 Hz to ultrasound. in singlephase flows to obtain higher convective heat transfer coefficients. Descriptions for the various active techniques have been given as follows: 1. Some promising applications. are in heat or mass exchangers where one technique may preexist. Injection. rough. Single or multiple jets (in clusters or staged axially along the flow channel) may be used in both single-phase and boiling applications. from dc or ac sources. for example. or fluid withdrawal through a porous heated surface in single-phase flow. 4. Jet impingement involves the direction of heating or cooling fluid perpendicularly or obliquely to the heat transfer surface. any two or more of these techniques (passive and/or active) may be employed simultaneously to obtain enhancement in heat transfer that is greater than that produced by only one technique itself. 3. which are introduced in single-phase gas flows in either a dilute phase (gas–solid suspensions) or dense phase (fluidized beds). used only in single-phase flow. Additives for gases include liquid droplets or solid particles. used primarily in single-phase flows. with vibrations ranging from 1. Suction involves either vapor removal through a porous heated surface in nucleate or film boiling. 5. Performance Evaluation Criteria . is considered to be perhaps the most practical type of vibration enhancement technique. 6. they can promote greater bulk fluid mixing and induce forced convection (corona “wind”) or electromagnetic pumping to enhance heat transfer. or extended surfaces. This simultaneous utilization is termed compound enhancement. Depending on the application. as mentioned earlier. at either low or high frequency. The more prominent examples include rotating tube heat exchangers and scraped-surface heat and mass exchangers. Bergles. there are some difficulties in classifying a few techniques. 7. Furthermore. Perhaps a future subcategorization and/or recategorization of the enhancement techniques might be needed to sort out such issues in the ever-expanding database. this is particularly so when the existing enhancement is from an active method.
The assessment of these factors. As Bergles has pointed out in his survey of the subject: “It seems impossible to establish a generally applicable selection criterion. reliability (material compatibility. and safety. Reduce the process stream’s pumping power requirements for a given heat load and exchanger surface area. . is usually application driven. and other such costs). and 4 yield savings in operating (or energy) costs. integrity. and objective 3 lends to material savings and reduced capital costs. Increase the heat duty of an existing heat exchanger without altering the pumping power (or pressure drop) or flow rate requirements.The issue of quantifying and evaluating the performance of enhancement devices. bonding. for which several criteria have been developed to quantify the relative enhancement in different applications. will be restricted only to the convective thermal– hydraulic behavior. They include economic (engineering development. 2. forming. 2. with a very broad and universal set of criteria. is complex and difficult. . along with a set of operating constraints and conditions. operating. capital. as well as the enhanced convection performance. the following performance objectives. . installation. Reduce the approach temperature difference between the two heat-exchanging fluid streams for a specified heat load and size of exchanger. maintenance.” Besides the relative thermal–hydraulic performance improvements brought about by the enhancement devices. and other production processes). and long-term performance). there are many factors that may have to be considered. however. manufacturability (machining. . These objective functions and constraints have been described by many different performance evaluation criteria (PEC) in the literature. It may be noted that objectives 1. Reduce the size or heat transfer surface area requirements for a specified heat duty and pressure drop. among others. are usually considered for optimizing the use of a heat exchanger: 1. 3. The discussion in this article. In most practical applications of enhancement techniques. 4.
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