An analytical study on heat transfer performance of radiators with non-uniform airflow distribution

Ng, E, Johnson, P and Watkins, S 2005, 'An analytical study on heat transfer performance of radiators with non-uniform airflow distribution', Journal of Automobile Engineering, vol. 219, pp. 1451-1467.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title An analytical study on heat transfer performance of radiators with non-uniform airflow distribution
Author(s) Ng, E
Johnson, P
Watkins, S
Year 2005
Journal name Journal of Automobile Engineering
Volume number 219
Start page 1451
End page 1467
Total pages 17
Publisher Professional Engineering Publishing
Abstract Heat exchangers used in modern automobiles usually have a highly non-uniform air velocity distribution because of the complexity of the engine compartment and underhood flow fields; hence ineffective use of the core area has been noted. To adequately predict the heat transfer performance in typical car radiators, a generalized analytical model accounting for airflow maldistribution was developed using a finite element approach and applying appropriate heat transfer equations including the epsilon-NTU (effectiveness - number of heat transfer units) method with the Davenport correlation for the air-side heat transfer coefficient. The analytical results were verified against a set of experimental data from nine radiators tested in a wind tunnel and were found to be within +24 and - 10 per cent of the experimental results. By applying the analytical model, several severe non-uniform velocity distributions were also studied. It was found that the loss of radiator performance caused by airflow maldistribution, compared with uniform airflow of the same total flowrate, was relatively minor except under extreme circumstances where the non-uniformity factor was larger than 0.5. The relatively simple set of equations presented in this paper can be used independently in spreadsheets or in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, enabling a full numerical prediction of aerodynamic as well as thermodynamic performance of radiators to be conducted prior to a prototype being built.
Subject Automotive Engineering Materials
Keyword(s) Airflow maldistribution
Corrugated louvred fin surfaces
Cross-flow heat exchangers
Non-uniformity
Radiators
Specific dissipation
DOI - identifier 10.1243/095440705X35116
Copyright notice © Professional Engineering Publishing
ISSN 0954-4070
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