Electrohydrodynamic enhancement of heat transfer in a shell-and tube heat exchanger

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Enhancement of heat transfer in a heat exchanger via a DC corona discharge was studied experimentally using a single-tube shell-and-tube heat exchanger. Air was the working fluid in both the tube and shell sides. Excitation of the tube side was via a single wire electrode, while that of the shell side was via four rod electrodes oriented symmetrically at 90° intervals. Three series of experiments were performed: (1) excitation of the tube side only, (2) excitation of the shell side only, and (3) simultaneous excitation of the tube and shell sides. Both heat transfer and pressure drop measurements were performed, with Reynolds number and electric field potential as parametric quantities in the tube and shell sides. It was found that highest enhancements take place when the tube and shell sides are excited simultaneously, yielding a 322% increase in the overall heat transfer coefficient. Study of the heat transfer enhancements per unit pumping power indicates that for the range of parameters studied, the technique is most efficient at moderate Reynolds numbers and at electrode potentials in the midrange between threshold and sparkover limits. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Experimental Heat Transfer