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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

E-ISSN 0976-3945

Research Article

CFD BASED INVESTIGATION ON EFFECT OF ROUGHNESS


ELEMENT PITCH ON PERFORMANCE OF ARTIFICIALLY
ROUGHENED DUCT USED IN SOLAR AIR HEATERS
Sanjay Sharma*, Ranjit Singh and Brij Bhushan
Address for Correspondence
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, Punjab-143521, India
Email: sanjufrnd15@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
CFD based performance analysis of solar air heater duct provided with artificial roughness in the form of square
type protrusion shape geometry has been reported in the present paper. Effect of square type protrusions on heat
transfer and friction has been investigated for Reynolds number range of 4000-20000 and relative roughness pitch of
38.8-61.1 at fixed relative roughness height of 0.016. Nusselt number and friction friction factor correlations have
been developed by utilizing the data generated under present CFD based investigation.
KEYWORDS: Artificial roughness, CFD, Nusselt number, friction factor and solar air heater.
be improved by enhancing heat transfer rate. It is
1. INTRODUCTION
reported
in the literature that heat transfer can be
Life is a continuous process of energy conversion and
enhanced by using corrugated surface or extended
transformation. The accomplishments of human
surfaces called fins. It can also be increased by
civilization have largely been achieved through
increasing convective heat transfer coefficient by
efficient and extensive harnessing of various forms of
creating turbulence at heat transfer surface with
energy. Energy is considered responsible for
application of artificial roughness on surface of the
development and economic growth of a nation.
absorber plate. Various investigators have studied
However, continuous use of conventional fossil fuels
different types of roughness geometries and their
have resulted energy crisis and environmental threats.
arrangements. Varun et al. [2007], Hans et al. [2009]
Therefore, need has been felt for searching
and Bhushan and Singh [2010] reported review on
alternative and environment friendly energy sources.
methodology of artificial roughness used in solar air
Among such type of energy sources, renewable
heaters. Prasad and Saini [1988] investigated effect
energy sources like solar energy, wind energy, tidal
of relative roughness height (e/D) and relative
energy, biomass energy etc. are becoming major
roughness pitch (p/e) on heat transfer and friction.
focus of scientists and researchers. It is generally
Authors reported that increase in relative roughness
considered that all forms of energy have been derived
height results decrease in rate of heat transfer
from solar energy. The simplest method to utilize
enhancement although rate of increase of friction
solar energy for heating application is to convert it
factor increases. And increase in relative roughness
into thermal energy by using solar collectors. Flat
pitch (p/e) results decrease in rate of heat transfer and
plate collector is the most important type of solar
friction. Gupta et al. [1993] investigated effect of
collectors because of simple design and little
relative roughness height, angle of attack and
maintenance. Flat plate collectors can be used for
Reynolds number on heat transfer and friction in
water heating and air heating. Thermal efficiency of a
rectangular duct having ribs on absorber plate in the
conventional solar air heater is generally considered
form of circular wire. Authors reported that heat
less because of low rate of heat transfer capability
transfer coefficient in roughened duct could be
between absorber plate and air flowing in the duct. In
improved by 1.8 times at the cost of increase in
order to make a solar air heater more effective solar
friction factor by 2.7 times over the smooth duct.
energy utilization system, thermal efficiency needs to
Momin et al. [2002] experimentally investigated

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

effect of geometrical parameters of V-shaped ribs on


heat transfer and fluid flow characteristics in
rectangular duct of solar air heater. It has been
reported by authors that rate of increase of Nusselt
number with an increase in Reynolds number is
lower than rate of increase of friction factor. Saini
and Saini [1997] investigated effect of expanded
metal mesh geometry of relative long and short way
length of mesh on heat transfer and friction. Saini and
Verma [2008] investigated heat transfer and friction
characteristics of spherical dimple shaped artificial
roughness geometry for Reynolds number range of
2000-12000. Authors reported that Nusselt number
and friction factor increased by 1.8 and 1.4 times
respectively as compared to smooth duct. Use of
artificial roughness to increase heat transfer
coefficient has been studied using CFD
(Computational Fluid Dynamics) by various
investigators. Kumar and Saini [2008] reported CFD
based investigation in order to study effect of thin

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E-ISSN 0976-3945

wire fixed on absorber plate (in an arc shaped


geometry) on heat transfer coefficient and friction
factor for range of relative roughness height (e/D)
from 0.0299-0.0426, relative roughness angle (/90)
from 0.333-0.666 and Reynolds number (Re) from
6000-18000. Authors used different turbulent models
for carrying out the analysis. Chaube et al. [2006]
carried out CFD based analysis for investigating heat
transfer and friction characteristics of rib roughened
rectangular air duct. In the present work, formation of
square type protrusions on the surface of absorber
plate has been considered to create artificial
roughness as shown in Fig.1. CFD based heat transfer
and flow analysis of the chosen roughness element
has been carried out by using Flow Simulation
module available in SolidWorks software of version
2009. Nusselt number and friction friction factor
correlations have been developed by utilizing the
data generated under present CFD based
investigation.

International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

2. CFD Based Analysis of Artificially


Roughened Duct
Experimental investigation on various types of
roughness geometries have been reported in
literature. It has been observed that experimental
investigation requires very costly hardware and
large human effort. In order to minimise this
problem, now a days very high configuration
computers are available for carrying out various
types of analysis by using the software. CFD is
also such type of numerical procedure, which
helps in analyzing fluid flow and heat transfer
related problems. In the present work also,
model of solar air heater duct was designed in
accordance with the guidelines given in
ASHARE standard [1977] in order to carry out
CFD based investigation. The schematic of the
CFD model which was used for carrying out the
present investigation is shown in Fig.2.
Rectangular duct consists of three sections; an
entry section, test section, and exit section.
Length of entry, test and exit sections was kept
900 mm, 1000 mm and 500 mm respectively.
Absorber plate assumed to be made from GI
sheet (0.9 mm thick) and it was roughened by
formation of square shape protrusions. Effect of
roughness geometry on heat transfer and friction
was investigated covering range of system and
operating parameters shown in Table 1.
During CFD based analysis, 2-D computational
domain and grid were selected. Non-uniform
meshing was generated over the duct. A uniform
heat flux of 500 W/m2 was given on surface of
absorber plate. Static pressure and air velocity
were considered as inlet and outlet boundary
conditions in order to have pressure drop in test
section of the duct. As flow of air takes place
within selected geometry, heat transfer and flow
were simulated in two dimensional planes. In
order to carry out CFD analysis in two
dimensional planes, following assumptions were
made;

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E-ISSN 0976-3945

i. Flow is steady and fully turbulent.


ii. Thermal conductivity of the duct wall
and roughness element does not change
with temperature.
iii. Material of the duct and ribs is
homogenous and isotropic.
iv. The working fluid i.e. air is
incompressible.
Table 1: Range/value of system and operating
parameters.
Parameter
Range/value
Reynolds number (Re)
400020000
Relative roughness pitch (p/e)
38.861.1
Relative roughness height (e/D) 0.016
Hydraulic diameter (D)
54.54 mm
Aspect ratio
10
3. Data Reduction
Following equations were used for calculating
heat transfer rate (q), heat transfer coefficient
(h), velocity of air (V), Nusselt number (Nu) and
friction factor (f):
.
(1)
q = m C p (T o T )
i

q = h A (T pm Tam )

(2)

Therefore, from Eqs. (1) and (2)


.

h=

mC p (To Ti )
A(Tpm Tam )

(3)

where Tpm and Tam are mean temperature of


absorber plate and air. These were determined
from temperature values obtained for absorber
plate and air at different locations along test
section of the duct. Reynolds number, Nusselt
number and friction factor values were evaluated
by using the following relationships:
Re =

VD

(4)

Nu =

hD
k

(5)

f =

2 PD
4 LV 2

(6)

International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

4. Results and Discussion


Effect of system and operating parameters on
heat transfer and friction in duct of solar air
heater has been discussed and reported in the
present section. In order to validate the CFD
data, comparison of Nusselt number and friction
factor data generated for smooth duct under
present CFD investigation and that generated by
using the correlations reported in the literature
for smooth duct were compared as shown in
Fig.3 and Fig.4. It can be observed that data
seems to be comparable. Fig.5 shows the effect
of Reynolds number on Nusselt number for
smooth and roughened absorber plate for the
range of relative roughness pitch (p/e) at fixed
value of relative roughness height (e/D). It can
observed that for a given value of relative

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roughness pitch (p/e) Nusselt number increases


with an increase of Reynolds number. Nusselt
number has been found maximum at minimum
value of relative roughness pitch (p/e). It may be
due to vortex formation between the protrusions
and hence causing greater heat removal from the
surface as reported by Chaube et al. [2006].
Fig.6 shows effect of Reynolds number on
friction factor for smooth and roughened
absorber plate for the range of relative roughness
pitch (p/e) at fixed value of relative roughness
height (e/D). It can observed that for a given
value of relative roughness pitch (p/e) the
friction factor decreases with increase of
Reynolds number. It is in agreement with the
finding of Bhagoria et al. [2002].

International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

E-ISSN 0976-3945

Fig.3: Comparison of CFD and predicted data of Nusselt number for smooth absorber plate.

Fig.4: Comparison of CFD and predicted data of friction factor for smooth absorber plate.

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

5. Nusselt Number and Friction Factor


Correlations
CFD data shown in Figs. 5 and 6 were used to
develop Nusselt number and friction factor
correlations as per procedure described by Singh
et al. [2006] and by using Sigma Plot software.
Accordingly following Nusselt number and
friction factor correlations were developed.
Nu = 0.00484 Re1.11 ( p/e )-0.37
(7)

E-ISSN 0976-3945

f = 0.15 Re-0.26 ( p/e )-0.29


(8)
Figs. 7 and 8 show comparison of CFD data and
that predicted from Nusselt number and friction
factor correlations developed for roughened
absorber plate having square type protrusions as
roughness geometry. An Average absolute
percentage deviation between CFD and
predicted data of Nusselt number and friction
factor have been found to be 15 %.

Fig.5: Effect of Reynolds number on Nusselt number for smooth and roughened absorber plates.

Fig.6: Effect of Reynolds number on friction factor for smooth and roughened absorber plates.

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

E-ISSN 0976-3945

Fig.7: Comparison of CFD and predicted data of Nusselt number.

Fig.8: Comparison of CFD and pridicted data of friction factor.


6. CONCLUSIONS
CFD based investigation has been reported in
the present paper in order to study heat transfer
and friction characteristics of solar air heater
duct roughened with formation of square type
protrusions. Effect of roughness element pitch
on heat transfer and friction has been

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investigated for Reynolds number range of


4000-20000. It has been observed that with
application of such type of artificial roughness,
heat transfer coefficient enhances at the cost of
frictional penalty. Nusselt number and friction
factor correlations have been developed by using
CFD data generated in present investigation.

International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

7. NOMENCLATURE
5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

8. REFERENCES
1.

2.

3.

4.

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14.

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