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To demonstrate the use of extended surface to improve heat transfer from the surface.

To determine the temperature distribution along an extended surface.


Convection, Forced Convecton, Surface Area, Efficiency of Heat Exchanger


Convection is the study of conduction in a fluid as enhanced by its "convective transport", that is,
its velocity with respect to a solid surface. It thus combines the energy equation, or frst law of
thermodynamics, with the continuity and momentum relations of fluid mechanics.

In forced convection, the fluid has a nonzero streaming motion in the farfield away from the body
surface, caused perhaps by a pump or fan or other driving force independent of the presence of the body.
Two major examples are duct flows and bodies immersed in a uniform stream. Also in this class are
bodies moving through a still fluid, since an observer on the body would see a streaming motion in the
farfeld. Since fluid velocities are forced and may be large, heat transfer via forced convection will usually
be significantly larger than that in natural convection.

There are various types of forced convection, such as flow in a tube or across a flat plate and so on.
In general there is no mathematical solution available to all types of forced convection problems. These
problems are usually analyzed by equations based on empirical values and generalized by dimensional
analysis. The analysis can be formulated by the following equation:
Nu = f (Pr, Re, Ma)
Nu = Nusselt number

Pr = Prandtl number
Re = Reynolds number
Ma = Mach number

In cases when the flow speed is low, the influence of the Mach number can be neglected and we obtain:
Nu = f (Pr,Re)


Heat transfer by simultaneous conduction and convection, whether free or forced forms the basis of
most industrial heat exchanger and related equipment. The measurement and prediction of heat transfer
coefficients for such circumstances is achieved in the Hilton unit by studying the temperature profiles and
heat flux in an air duct with associated flat and extended transfer surfaces. The vertical duct is so
constructed that the air temperature and velocity and can readily measured, and a variety of plug in
modules of heated solid surfaces of known dimensions can be presented to the air stream for detailed
study. A fan situated at the top of the duct provides the air stream for forced convection experiments.

An independent bench mounted console contains temperature measurement, power control and fan
speed circuits with appropriate instrumentation. Temperature measurement to a resolution of 0.1 oC is
effected using thermistor sensors with direct digital read-out in oC. Air velocity is measured with portable
anemometer mounted on the duct. The power control circuits provide a continuously variable electrical
output of 0-100 Watts with a direct read-out in Watts. The equipment set up is shown in Figure 1.


2.1 Forced Convection

In free convection small movement of air generated by the heat limits the transfer rate
from the surface. More heat is transferred if the air velocity is increased over the heated surface. This
process of assisting the movement of air over the heated surface is called forced convection. Therefore a
heated surface experiencing forced convection will have a lower surface temperature than that of the same
surface in free convection for the same power input.

2.2 Surface Area
Heat transfer from an object can also be improved by increasing the surface area in

contact with the air. In practice, it may be difficult to increase the size of body to suit. In these
circumstances, the surface area in contact with the air may be increased by adding fns or pins normal to
the surface. These features are called extended surfaces. A typical example is the use of fins on the
cylindrical and head of an air-cooled petrol engine. The effect of the extended surface can be
demonstrated by comparing fnned and pinned surfaces with a flat plate under the same conditions of
power input and airflow.

1. Hot surfaces cannot in most cases be totally shield and can produce severe burns even when not
'visibly' hot. Use common sense and think which part of the equipment is likely to be hot.
2. Ensure that speed control devices are always set to zero before starting equipment
3. Always disconnect equipment from the electrical supply when not in use.


Experiment 1: To demonstrate the use of extended surface to improve heat transfer from
the surface

1. Place the flat plate heat exchange into the duct.

2. Record the ambient air temperature, tA.
3. Set the heater power control to 75 Watts.
4. Allow the temperature to rise to 80 C, and then adjust the heater power control to 20 Watts until
a steady reading is obtained.
5. Record heated plate temperature, tH at air velocity 0.0 m/s.
6. Set the fan control to give 1.0 m/s using the thermal anemometer.
7. Repeat this procedure for 1.5 m/s for the flat plate.
8. Replace the flat plate with the finned and pinned plate and repeat the experiment.

Experiment 1

Record the data collected in experiment 1 into the table below :

Ambient air temperature, tA = _____ oC

Power Input = 20 Watts
Air Velocity Heater temperature, tH tH tA (oC)
(m/s) (oC)
Flat Pinned Finned Flat Pinned Finned


Experiment 1

1. Plot graphs of surface temperature against air velocity for each flat plate, pinned plate and
pinned plate.

2. Comment on the correlation between;

a) the velocity of the air and the surface temperature for each flat plate, pinned plate and
finned plate
b) total surface of the plates and the surface temperature for each flat plate, pinned plate and
finned plate


1. White, F. M. Fluid' Mechanics, 4^ Ed., McGravv-Hill, Singapore, 1999

2. Debler, W. R. FluidMechanics Fundamentals, Prentice-Hall, London, 1990
3. Bertin, J. J. Engineerng FluidMechancs, Prentice-Hall, London, 1984
4. McCabe, W. L, Smith, J. C. and Harriott, P. Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, 5"1 Ed.,
McGraw-Hill, New York, 1993
5. Gnter Cerbe, Hans Joachim Hoffmann, Einfhrung in die Wrmelehre.Introduction to
Thermodynamics, 9"1 Ed, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich Vienna, 1990.