The accurate prediction of heat transfer processes, including heat transfer coefficients, temperature profiles, and fluid flow distribution, holds paramount significance in both the design and operation of heat exchangers. CFD is widely used as an effective tool for flow visualisation, design improvements, and optimization of various heat exchanger systems like boilers, radiators, condensers, and economizers.
A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer heat from one fluid to another. The fluids can be in direct contact or separated by a barrier. Heat exchangers are used in a variety of applications, including air conditioning, refrigeration, chemical processing, power generation, and many others.
CFD can be used to analyze the fluid flow and heat transfer inside a heat exchanger. The basic approach involves dividing the heat exchanger into a series of small control volumes and solving the equations of motion and energy for each control volume. This results in a set of equations that can be solved numerically to determine the temperature and velocity distribution throughout the heat exchanger.
The accuracy of the CFD model depends on the quality of the input data, including the geometry of the heat exchanger, the properties of the fluids, and the boundary conditions. The geometry of the heat exchanger can be imported from a CAD file or constructed within the CFD software. The properties of the fluids can be specified based on their thermodynamic properties, such as density, specific heat, and viscosity. The boundary conditions can be defined based on the inlet and outlet conditions, as well as any external heat sources or sinks.
The capabilities of CFD have enabled engineers to improve the existing systems without increasing their downtime. CFD in heat exchanger design is used for investigating fluid flow maldistribution, heat transfer process modelling, fouling, pressure drop, and thermal analysis.
Our expertise in these areas could assist you with
- Thermal performance assessment of radiators
- Shell and tube heat exchanger design assessment
- Steam condensing system design assessment