A Simulation and Design Tool for Flat Tube, Louvered-Fin Heat Exchangers 2006-01-1451
Computer simulation tools for modeling heat exchanger performance can be effective aids in the design, and optimization of heat exchangers. This paper presents a model that has been developed to simulate the performance of flat tube, louvered fin heat exchangers of the type used for automotive applications such as radiators and charge air coolers. Two different types of fin can be modeled-louvered plate fins and louvered corrugated fins. A segment-by-segment modeling approach is employed in which each tube is divided into multiple segments in order to account for heterogeneous fluid flow and to allow for two-dimensional air maldistribution. The energy transfer and the hydraulic equations are solved for each segment. A variety of working fluids such as air, water-glycol, and most refrigerants can be modeled. Multiple correlations are available to model heat transfer coefficients and friction factors for the fluid inside the tubes as well as for the air side. The model calculates the overall heat transfer of heat exchangers as well as performance parameters such as pressure drops and outlet temperatures. Object-oriented programming techniques have been used to create a highly flexible and customizable design platform as well as a user-friendly graphic interface. The accuracy of the model is validated with experimental data.