The Technical Derivation of Heat Transfer Performance of the Airside of a Novel Pin Design Heat Exchanger Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Pins are a common type of extended surface used in the field of heat transfer; their main application being in the electronics field. Historically, pins used in heat exchangers have diameters that are considered negligible in comparison to their lengths and are therefore termed as tubes.

In this report, the use of pins as an extended surface is investigated for the heat transfer on the airside (cold) of the Compact Advanced Pin Surface Heat Exchanger. The pins are circular in cross section and follow a staggered arrangement. The uniqueness of the pin design is such that they cannot be treated as tubes.

Key Pin Design features are as follows:

• Pins have a maximum Length: Diameter ratio of 3.

• Pin Spacing to Pin Diameter ratio is greater than in traditional arrangements.

• Pins function as a primary as well as secondary surface.

The heat transfer performance of extended surfaces possessing the above features has not been characterized, using commercially available Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, in any research specifically focused on applications for the aerospace industry.

Based on actual test results, this study specially develops a unique approach that can predict the outlet temperature of the heat exchanger to within 1% accuracy. This ‘developed’ approach is applied over cold-side mass flow rates ranging from 0.05 kg/s to 0.23 kg/s, while keeping the hot side mass flow rate constant at 0.05 kg/s. At worst, the simulation results lie within 5% accuracy and at best the simulation accuracy is 1%, a significant improvement on traditional derivations.

This article specifically discusses the methodology developed to analyse the heat transfer performance of the novel pin design using Fluent 6.2. It highlights the current limitations of existing equations as well as the theoretical knowledge gap that currently exists in the analysis of pins as extended heat transfer surfaces in heat exchangers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Heat Transfer Enhancement for Practical Applications; Fire and Combustion; Multi-Phase Systems; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer
Place of PublicationUSA
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7918-4478-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventASME 2012 Heat Transfer Summer Conference - Puerto Rico, United States
Duration: 8 Jul 201212 Jul 2012


ConferenceASME 2012 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPuerto Rico


  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • CFD (computational fluid dynamics)
  • Heat Exchanger
  • Heat Transfer
  • Pins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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