Abstract

The present research deals with enhancing the thermal performance of turbulated heat exchangers through the application of sound pressure waves at acoustic resonance frequencies. Extending the findings of prior wind tunnel studies, where a standing wave greatly improved the forced convection in reattaching flows, this paper exploits such a phenomenon in a practical heat exchanger setting. The current experiments are conducted in representative turbulated plate and double-pipe heat exchanger geometries, mounted in a dedicated facility. After identifying the inherent acoustic resonance frequencies of the passageways, the impact of excitation is studied in various sound pressure levels, blockage ratios, as well as Strouhal and Reynolds numbers. The acoustic resonance excitation resulted in heat transfer enhancement of 20% and 10% in the plate and double-pipe designs, respectively, absence of additional pressure penalties. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first demonstration of acoustic forced convection enhancement in turbulated heat exchanger geometries. Such a technology can pave the way toward future designs that require low-pressure losses, minimal form factor, and/or process controllability.

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