Numerical Optimization of Finned Tube Heat Exchanger for Air-Molten Salt Heat Transfer
Abstract: This paper numerically simulated the heat transfer process of the high temperature air-molten salt in the finned tube heat exchanger by use of a software called FLUENT. The heat transfer and flow characteristics between the high temperature and molten salt were studied. In the finned tube heat exchanger, the molten salt is flowing inside the tube while the outside is surrounded by the high temperature air, which is flowing between the fins. In the simulating process, the heat transfer and resistance characteristics for the air side in the exchanger are investigated under the condition of different Reynolds numbers and fin spaces. The results show that the surface heat transfer coefficient of the air side has a significant increase with the increase of flow velocity in the air side, while the average drag coefficient gradually reduces and tends to be gentle. Increasing the flow velocity of air side can strengthen the heat transfer, while the increase of velocity leads to the significant energy lost for the fan. When the Reynolds number is small, the heat transfer distribution of fin surface is obviously nonuniform, the heat transfer is mainly focused on the windward side and the heat transfer around the pipe wall is uneven, which leads to the formation of vortex for the molten salt inside the tube. Meanwhile, the velocity of the X direction is also generated. With the increase of fin space, the surface heat transfer coefficient of the air side shows a changing trend that first increases and then decreases.
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