Development of experimental techniques for measurement of heat transfer rates in heat exchangers in oscillatory flows

W Kamsanam, X Mao, AJ Jaworski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Heat exchangers are important components of thermoacoustic devices. In oscillatory flow conditions, the flow and temperature fields around the heat exchangers can be quite complex, and may significantly affect heat transfer behaviour. As a result, one cannot directly apply the heat transfer correlations for steady flows to the design of heat exchangers for oscillatory flows. The fundamental knowledge of heat transfer in oscillatory flows, however, is still not well-established. The aim of the current work is to develop experimental apparatus and measurement techniques for the study of heat transfer in oscillatory flows. The heat transferred between two heat exchangers forming a couple was measured over a range of testing conditions. Three couples of finned-tube heat exchangers with different fin spacing were selected for the experiment. The main parameters considered were fin spacing, fin length, thermal penetration depth and gas displacement amplitude. Their effects on the heat exchanger performance were studied. The results were summarised and analysed in terms of heat transfer rate and dimensionless heat transfer coefficient: Colburn-j factor. In order to obtain the gas side heat transfer coefficient in oscillatory flows, the water side heat transfer coefficient is required. Thus, an experimental apparatus for unidirectional steady test was also developed and a calculation method to evaluate the heat transfer coefficient was demonstrated. The uncertainties associated with the measurement of heat transfer rate were also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Early online date23 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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