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EXTENDED SURFACES - FINS The Function of Fins Increase heat transfer rate for a fixed surface
temperature, or

Lower surface temperature for a fixed heat transfer rate

Newton's law of cooling & =aS (T T ) Q s s s & for a fixed T Extending S increases Q

Rewrite (3.63)

T =T +

& Q

s s


& lowers T Extending surface at fixed Q s s

A surface is extended by adding fins Examples of fins: Thin rods on the condenser in back of refrigerator. Honeycomb surface of a car radiator. Corrugated surface of a motorcycle engine. Coolers of PC boards. Types of Fins

(a) constant area (b) variable area straight fin straight fin Fig. 3.12

(c) pin fin

(d) annular fin

Fin terminology and types

Fig. 3.13

Fin base (pata ebra) Fin tip (konec ebra)

h T ,,T

Heat Transfer and Temperature Distribution in Fins Heat flow through a fin is
axial and lateral (2-D)

Temperature distribution is 2-D Note temperature profile

The Fin Approximation

Neglect temperature variation in the lateral direction r and assume uniform temperature at any section: T T(x)

Criterion for justifying this approximation:

Biot number = Bi = / << 1, Bi < 0.1

Remind the meaning of the Biot number:

/ internal resistance Bi = = 1/ external resistance

The Fin Heat Equation

Conservation of energy for an element for steady state

and no energy generation:

& in = E & out E

& Energy in by conduction = Q x & + (dQ & /dx)dx Energy out by conduction = Q x x

& Energy out by convection = dQ

Neglect radiation: & =Q

dS=P.dx dA s C P qx

(a) (b)

& + Eout = Q x

& dQ x dx

& dx +dQ conv

qx +

dqx dx dx

& in = E & out (a) and (b) into E

& dQ

&c dq dQ


( b)


& dx + dQ




Fourier's and Newtons laws:

dT & Q = A x dx
& dQ

(d) (e)

= (T T )P.dx

is a surface average heat transfer coefficient

A = cross-sectional conduction area P.dx = dS = surface area of element through which heat is convected

(d) and (e) into

& dQ x dx

& dx + dQ



d dT A dx (T T )Pdx = 0 dx dx


Assume: constant
d 2T P (T T ) = 0 2 A dx

Or assuming T constant and replacing T with T T

d 2(T-T ) dx 2 P (T T ) = 0 A

Heat equation for fins

Boundary Conditions
Two B.C. are needed

&o Determination of Fin Heat Transfer Rate Q

Conservation of energy applied to a fin at steady state:

& o = conduction at the base = Q

convection at the surface
&o Two methods to determine Q
(1) Conduction at the base: Fourier's law

d (T T ) & Qo = A dx

x =0

(2) Convection at the fin surface: Newton's law

& o = [T(x) T ] P.dx Q

Introducing a new parameter

fin parameter m

P mL = L A
P (T T ) = 0 A

Rewrite Heat equation for fins

d 2(T-T ) dx 2

d 2 (T - T ) 2 m (T T ) = 0 dx 2

Heat equation is valid for:

(1) Steady state (2) Constant (3) No energy generation (4) No radiation (5) Bi << 1 (6) Constant fin area (7) Constant ambient temperature T

Solution to the equation:

d 2 (T - T ) 2 m (T T ) = 0 dx 2

T(x) T = C1e mx + C 2 e mx

C1 and C are integration constants. They depend on boundary conditions.

Two boundary conditions: at the base and at the tip

Consider 3 cases of constant area fins (i) (ii) Specified temperature at the base, semi-infinite fin Finite fin, specified temperature at the base, insulated tip (iii) Finite fin, specified temperature at the base, heat transfer at the tip

Case (i): Semi-infinite fin with specified temperature at the base

, T ,h T




The base is at temperature To Ambient temperature is T

Fig. 3.16

Ac A

Remind the solution: T(x) T = C1e mx + C 2 e mx B.C. are:

T(0) =To , T(0) T = T0 T
T() =T , T( ) T = 0

(a) (b)

T(x) T = (To T )exp( mx)

T(x) T T T

= exp( mx)

&o Fin heat transfer rate Q

d (T T ) & Qo = A dx
x =0

= Am(T0 T )

& o = A P (T0 T ) Q
&o Q = (T0 T ) A P
Obviously, no dependence on the fin length

Case (ii): Finite length fin with specified temperature at the base and insulated tip
Same as Case (i) except the tip is insulated.

T & Q x = L = S x
Tip B.C.

,T h ,T
ht h,T , T




Fig. 3.17

d (T T ) dx


T(x) T = C1e mx + C 2 e mx

General solution:

Two B.C. - fin base (specified temperature) and tip

zero heat transfer rate give C1 and C2 ,
About hyperbolic functions:
sinhx e x e x ex + ex ex ex = x ; tghx = ; coshx = sinhx = coshx e + e x 2 2


T ( x ) T cosh m( L - x ) = = cosh mL To T

Tip temperature (x=L):

TL T 1 = L T0 T cosh mL
d (T T ) & Qo = A dx

Similarly heat transfer rate (tepeln tok):

x =0

sinh mL & Qo = Am(T0 T ) cosh ml

&o Q = tgh (mL ) A P (T0 T )

Compare with the semi-infinite fin:

&o Q = (T0 T ) A P &o Q =1 A P (T0 T )

TL T = 0,014 T0 T

TL T = 0,014.(T0 T )

Case (iii): Finite length fin with specified temperature at the base and heat transfer at the tip

,T h ,T
h,T , T




Fig. 3.17

T ( x ) T cosh[m ( L x )] + ( L / m )sinh[m ( L x )] = T0 T cosh mL + ( L / m )sinh mL

Corrected Length Lc Fins with insulated tips have simpler solutions than
fins with convection at the tip

Simplified model: Assume insulated tip and The corrected length Lc is Error negligible if
Lc = L + Lc

compensate by increasing the length by Lc

The correction increment Lc = t/2 fin half width

t 0,0625

Fin Effectiveness (efektivnost) f Fin Efficiency (innost) f

Fin performance is described by two parameters: Fin Effectiveness f : Measures heat transfer enhancement due to fin addition. &o &o Q Q & o = Am(T0 T ) sinh mL Q = Defined as f = cosh ml & A(To T ) Qbase
Ratio of heat transfered by the fin and heat transfered from the original area A of the fin Qbase = A(To T ) A

For a semi-infinite fin:

f =

AP (To T ) P = A(To T ) A

How to increase fin effectivness: high conductivity material high perimeter to area ratio P/A thin fin and close each to other use fin where heat transfer coefficient is low f must be >2, otherwise dont use the fin.

Fin Efficiency f : Compares heat transfer from a fin with the maximum heat that the fin can transfer. Defined as &o Q f = & o,max Q

& o,max = heat transfer from fin if its entire surface is at Q

the base temperature & o,max = S f (To T ) Q

S f = total fin surface area

Introduce the above into equation for f

&o Q f = S f (To T )

Total Fin Surface Efficiency (innost) tot


& TOT,max Q


& TOT Q = STOT (To T )

Sf So


Total finned surface (including surface between individual fins) STOT = S f + S o Total heat transfer rate from the total finned surface of an actual finned surface

& TOT = S f f (To T ) + So (To T ) Q

& TOT,max Q
When the entire finned surface is at the base temperature

After some rearrangement

Sf & ( QTOT = STOT 1 1 f )(To T ) STOT

Taking the definition of the total efficiency & TOT Q & TOT = STOT TOT (To T ) TOT = Q STOT (To T ) we come to the definition of a total efficiency

TOT = 1


(1 f )

Practical procedure how to calculate heat transfer rate from a finned surface
1. 2. Specify efficiency of an individual fin f using graphs Calculate total surface of fins and free space between fins STOT = S f + So Calculate total efficiency Sf ( TOT = 1 1 f ) STOT Calculate maximum heat transfer rate
& TOT,max = S TOT (To T ) Q

Sf So


4. 5.

Calculate actual heat transfer rate

& TOT = TOT Q & TOT,max Q

Graphs of fin efficiency

Fin efficiency for three types of straight fins

Graphs of fin efficiency

Fin efficiency for annular fins