Abstract

This study provides extensive research on fluid flow and heat transfer for 4-layered ceramic-compact counterflow microchannel heat exchangers (CFMCHE) using CFD-ACE®, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package. The goal is to build and expand upon previous studies in this area to identify a more efficient channel shape for better performance of the microchannel cross-section through numerical analysis under the same operating conditions. To develop the methodology for numerical analysis, a three-dimensional (3D) computational model of the CFMCHE was developed and validated with published and experimentally tested results with a percentage difference in outlet temperatures of 3-5% for hot fluids and 6-12% for cold fluids across the entire design of experiments (DoEs). Microchannel heat exchangers (MCHEs) exhibit high heat transfer rates and area-to-volume ratios, making them suitable for industrial applications. In this study, various design options for channel cross sections in a venturi shape were assessed numerically using a validated methodology in a segmented venturi CFMCHE to enhance performance. The steady-state performance of the Venturi CFMCHE was compared to that of the straight CFMCHE baseline design under the same bucket volume, area, and operating conditions. It was found that the venturi CFMCHE showed a ∼4-9% improvement as compared to the straight CFMCHE, but same time the pumping power was also 15-40% under the same operating conditions.

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