Development of Heat Transfer Surface Area Enhancements: A Test Facility for New Heat Exchanger Designs
Enhancing the heat transfer surface by usage of cellular metal structures, such as foams or wire structures, might allow enlarging the surface area, increasing the heat transfer coefficients, decreasing the material utilization, and enabling the flexibility of different geometrical dimensions. However their manufacturing and assembling in a large heat exchanger for performance testing and optimizing can be costly. Therefore a test rig was constructed for experimental characterization of heat transfer surface area enhancements. Heat exchanger samples with dimensions in the centimeter range can be measured. The fluid flow and heat transfer features of a micro pin fin wire structure made from copper by soft-soldering were experimentally characterized under steady-state forced air convection. The results are compared to performance characteristics of louvered fins. Heat transfer coefficients of the pin fins are twice as high as for the louvered fins. The relative expanded uncertainty of the Nusselt number is ±7%.