Effects of Nonuniform Passages on Compact Heat Exchanger Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
R. K. Shah

Harrison Radiator Division, General Motors Corporation, Lockport, NY 14094

A. L. London

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

J. Eng. Power 102(3), 653-659 (Jul 01, 1980) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3230319 History: Received August 20, 1979; Online September 28, 2009


Neighboring passages in a compact heat exchanger such as a rotary regenerator are never geometrically identical due to manufacturing tolerances. This passage-to-passage nonuniformity can result in a significant penalty on heat transfer performance with only a small compensating effect of reduced pressure drop. Continuous cylindrical passage geometries, operating with laminar flow, are particularly sensitive to these effects. In this paper, a procedure is outlined to establish the effective friction factors and Nusselt numbers for one fluid side of an exchanger having n different cylindrical passage geometries. Two special cases of longitudinal wall temperature variation are considered corresponding to conditions of Cmin /Cmax of zero and unity. The analysis is presented for both fully developed and developing laminar flow.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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