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Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer
An Experimental Investigation of the Performance of Cross-Corrugated Plate Heat Exchangers
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, Australia
Two important variables in plate heat exchanger design are the size (i.e., height H and pitch P) and the orientation (b) of the corrugation embossed on the plates. In this article, the effects of b on the thermal performance of and pressure loss in such an exchanger are investigated through laboratory experimentation for a single-phase application using water. Two rectangular test heat exchangers made from corrugated plates (P = 25 mm and H = 5.5 mm) with b = 45° and 60° were tested. The results showed that the Nusselt number (Nu) and the Darcy friction factor (f) for the 60° channel were higher compared to the 45° sample by a factor of 1.5–2 in the Reynolds (Re) number range 300 < Re < 1700. However, in comparison with a flat plate channel, this factor at Re @ 1000 was of the order of 5 for Nu and as high as 30 for f. Also, the data showed a transitory behavior in the range Re @ 450–900 and 600–1300 for the 60° and 45° samples, respectively. The experimental results are compared with published data from the open literature. While good agreement was found with some studies, a large discrepancy with other experimental data was revealed. This discrepancy is explained by either geometric parameters and/or the experimental techniques used. Also, included in the article is a description of the flow pattern in cross-corrugated cavities and its relation to the plate’s surface temperature. It is shown that even at very low flow rates, the fluid movement is generally erratic and random, generating a fully mixed flow in the heat exchanger.
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