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Compact and Enhanced Heat Exchangers

Ramesh K. Shah
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; and Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems, Lockport, NY

Ralph L. Webb
Department of Mechanical Engineering The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA


This paper starts with the definitions of compact and enhanced heat exchangers, and describes their unique features, subtle characteristics, surface geometries, and flow arrangements. For compact and enhanced heat exchangers, gas is the fluid on one side of the exchanger. Commonly used surfaces are the regenerative type and extended surface type. The latter includes plate-fin and tube-fin surfaces. The plate-fin surfaces considered are plain, wavy, offset strip, louver, perforated, and pin fins. There are two types of tube-fin surfaces: continuous fins on a tube array, and individually finned tubes. The continuous fins considered are the plain, wavy and louver fins on an array of circular or flat tubes. The fins on individual tubes considered are the circular (plain helical), segmented, studded, slotted, and wire loop fins. A comprehensive review of the literature has been made and the nondimensional single-phase heat transfer and flow friction characteristics are presented for all these surfaces. The information includes a summary of local flow structure and performance, analytical solutions, and experimental correlations.

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