Finned Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger CFD simulation, ANSYS Fluent Training

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The present problem simulates water flow and heat transfer inside a wavy shaped finned shell and tube heat exchanger using ANSYS Fluent software.

This ANSYS Fluent project includes CFD simulation files and a training movie.

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Project Description

The present problem simulates water flow and heat transfer inside a finned shell and tube heat exchanger using ANSYS Fluent software. The simulation model deals with a sample part of a heat exchanger. This section includes three computational areas for water flow; So that there is an area for upstream flow and one area for downstream flow and a middle area includes several tubes and fins. The water flow enters the computational zone with a velocity of 0.5 m.s-1 and a temperature of 343 K.

The fins merely act as a barrier or a kind of porous medium and have a thermal insulation boundary condition; While the tubes are assumed to have a constant temperature equivalent to 293 K on their walls.

finned shell and tube heat exchanger

Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The geometry of the model is related to a part of the heat exchanger, the middle part of which has a sinusoidal or wavy structure and has several tubes and fins.

finned shell and tube heat exchanger

The meshing of the model has been done using ANSYS Meshing software and the mesh type is unstructured. The element number is 803864. The following figure shows the mesh.

finned shell and tube heat exchanger

CFD Simulation

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

A summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution is given in the following table:

Viscous k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near-wall treatment standard wall function
Energy On
Boundary conditions
Inlet Velocity Inlet
velocity magnitude 0.5 m.s-1
temperature 343 K
Outlet Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Wall – Tube
wall motion stationary wall
temperature 293 K
Wall – Fin
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 0 W.m-2
Pressure-velocity coupling SIMPLE
pressure second order
momentum second order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
energy second order upwind
Initialization methods standard
gauge pressure 0 pascal
x-velocity 0.5 m.s-1
y-velocity & z-velocity 0 m.s-1
temperature 343 K


At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to pressure, velocity and temperature, as well as velocity vectors and path lines are obtained.

All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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