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An investigation of the thermo-hydraulic performance of the smooth wavy fin-and-elliptical tube heat exchangers utilizing new type vortex generators


  • Lotfi, Babak
  • Sundén, Bengt
  • Wang, Qiuwang


A three-dimensional CFD numerical simulation is successfully carried out on thermo-hydraulic characteristics of a new smooth wavy fin-and-elliptical tube (SWFET) heat exchanger with three new types of vortex generators (VGs), namely – rectangular trapezoidal winglet (RTW), angle rectangular winglet (ARW) and curved angle rectangular winglet (CARW). Several parameters have been examined in this study. There have a pronounced effect on the thermo-hydraulic performance. In addition the results are analyzed from the viewpoint of the field synergy principle which emphasizes that the reduction of the synergy angle between velocity and fluid temperature gradient is the principal mechanism for enhancement of heat transfer performance. These parameters include: Reynolds number (based on the hydraulic diameter, ReDh=500–3000), geometric shape of VGs, attack angle of VGs (αVG=15–75°), placement of VG pairs (up- or/and downstream), tube ellipticity ratio (e=0.65–1.0) and wavy fin height (H=0.8–1.6mm). The results demonstrate that with increasing Reynolds number and wavy fin height, decreasing the tube ellipticity ratio, the heat transfer performance of the SWFET heat exchanger is enhanced. The SWFET heat exchanger with the advantages of using CARW VGs and RTW VGs at smaller and larger attack angles, respectively, presents good thermo-hydraulic performance enhancement. Finally, new correlations are proposed to estimate the values of the average Nusselt number Nu, friction factor f and synergy angle θ based on the Reynolds number, attack angle of VGs, tube ellipticity ratio and wavy fin height.

Suggested Citation

  • Lotfi, Babak & Sundén, Bengt & Wang, Qiuwang, 2016. "An investigation of the thermo-hydraulic performance of the smooth wavy fin-and-elliptical tube heat exchangers utilizing new type vortex generators," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1282-1302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:162:y:2016:i:c:p:1282-1302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.07.065

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wang, Qiuwang & Zeng, Min & Ma, Ting & Du, Xueping & Yang, Jianfeng, 2014. "Recent development and application of several high-efficiency surface heat exchangers for energy conversion and utilization," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 748-777.
    2. Lotfi, Babak & Zeng, Min & Sundén, Bengt & Wang, Qiuwang, 2014. "3D numerical investigation of flow and heat transfer characteristics in smooth wavy fin-and-elliptical tube heat exchangers using new type vortex generators," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 233-257.
    3. Zhao, X.B. & Tang, G.H. & Ma, X.W. & Jin, Y. & Tao, W.Q., 2014. "Numerical investigation of heat transfer and erosion characteristics for H-type finned oval tube with longitudinal vortex generators and dimples," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 93-104.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luo, Lei & Wen, Fengbo & Wang, Lei & Sundén, Bengt & Wang, Songtao, 2016. "Thermal enhancement by using grooves and ribs combined with delta-winglet vortex generator in a solar receiver heat exchanger," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1317-1332.
    2. Shahsavar, Amin & Al-Rashed, Abdullah A.A.A. & Entezari, Sajad & Sardari, Pouyan Talebizadeh, 2019. "Melting and solidification characteristics of a double-pipe latent heat storage system with sinusoidal wavy channels embedded in a porous medium," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 751-769.
    3. Gabl, Roman & Innerhofer, Daniel & Achleitner, Stefan & Righetti, Maurizio & Aufleger, Markus, 2018. "Evaluation criteria for velocity distributions in front of bulb hydro turbines," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 745-756.
    4. Tang, Song-Zhen & Wang, Fei-Long & He, Ya-Ling & Yu, Yang & Tong, Zi-Xiang, 2019. "Parametric optimization of H-type finned tube with longitudinal vortex generators by response surface model and genetic algorithm," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 239(C), pages 908-918.
    5. Eisapour, M. & Eisapour, Amir Hossein & Hosseini, M.J. & Talebizadehsardari, P., 2020. "Exergy and energy analysis of wavy tubes photovoltaic-thermal systems using microencapsulated PCM nano-slurry coolant fluid," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 266(C).
    6. Yuan Xue & Zhihua Ge & Xiaoze Du & Lijun Yang, 2018. "On the Heat Transfer Enhancement of Plate Fin Heat Exchanger," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-18, May.
    7. Zhao, Xiaohuan & E, Jiaqiang & Zhang, Zhiqing & Chen, Jingwei & Liao, Gaoliang & Zhang, Feng & Leng, Erwei & Han, Dandan & Hu, Wenyu, 2020. "A review on heat enhancement in thermal energy conversion and management using Field Synergy Principle," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 257(C).
    8. Alam, Tabish & Kim, Man-Hoe, 2018. "A comprehensive review on single phase heat transfer enhancement techniques in heat exchanger applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 813-839.
    9. Lei Chai & Savvas A. Tassou, 2018. "A Review of Airside Heat Transfer Augmentation with Vortex Generators on Heat Transfer Surface," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-45, October.
    10. Dezan, Daniel J. & Rocha, André D. & Ferreira, Wallace G., 2020. "Parametric sensitivity analysis and optimisation of a solar air heater with multiple rows of longitudinal vortex generators," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 263(C).
    11. Ali Sadeghianjahromi & Saeid Kheradmand & Hossain Nemati & Jane-Sunn Liaw & Chi-Chuan Wang, 2018. "Compound Heat Transfer Enhancement of Wavy Fin-and-Tube Heat Exchangers through Boundary Layer Restarting and Swirled Flow," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-19, July.


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