Advanced Methods of Modelling and Design of Plate Heat Exchangers



Research of devices for heat recovery is currently focused on increasing the heat effectiveness of plate heat exchangers. The goal of optimization is not only to increase the heat transfer but also reduce the pressure loss and material costs. During the optimization of plate heat exchangers using CFD, we are struggling with the problem of how to create a quality computational mesh inside complex and irregular channels. These channels are formed by combining individual plates or blades that are shaped by molding, vacuum forming, or similar technology. Creating computational mesh from the bottom up manually is time consuming and does not help later optimization. The paper presents a new method for creating of computational meshes to simulate flow and heat transfer in a plate heat exchanger. This method is based on dynamic mesh method “user defined deforming” provided by ANSYS Fluent. The method is fast and provide applicable tool for optimization. Influences of cell size and count of layers of computational cells on heat transfer and pressure drop were investigated. It was found that the minimum number of layers is twelve across the channel, otherwise obtained data can be irrelevant.


Heat exchanger, CFD, Dynamic mesh


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