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Planar Heat Exchanger CFD Simulation by ANSYS Fluent

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In this project, a 3D CFD simulation of a 4-layer planar heat exchanger is investigated.

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

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Description

Project Description

In this project, a 3D CFD simulation of a 4-layer planar heat exchanger is investigated. Steady hot (T=286.2K) and cold (T=276.5K) water flows enter the planar domain and moving through the heat exchanging region, these flows exchange heat which leads to temperature difference reduction. Both flows exit the heat exchanging domain with approximately equal temperature (T=282K).

Geometry & Mesh

Geometry of the heat exchanger is designed in Design Modeler and grid generation is done in Ansys meshing. Inlet and outlet boundary conditions of both hot and cold flow are shown below. The mesh type is unstructured and element number is 2273000.

planar heat exchanger

planar heat exchanger

Planar Heat Exchanger CFD Simulation Settings

Critical assumptions:

  • Solver type is assumed Pressure Based.
  • Time formulation is assumed Steady.
  • Gravity effects is neglected.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Models
Energy On
Viscous Standard K-epsilon

(Standard wall functions)

Materials
Fluid Definition method Fluent Database
Boundary conditions
Hot-Inlet Type Mass flow inlet
Mass flow rate 0.0045 kg/s
Turbulent intensity 2%
Hydraulic diameter 0.003 m
Temperature 286.2 K
Cold inlet Type Mass flow inlet
Mass flow rate 0.00361 kg/s
Turbulent intensity 2%
Hydraulic diameter 0.003 m
Temperature 276.5 K
Solver configurations
Pressure-velocity coupling Scheme SIMPLE
Spatial discretization Gradient Least square cell-based
Pressure Standard
Momentum Second order Upwind
Turbulent kinetic energy First order Upwind
Turbulent dissipation rate First order Upwind
Energy Second order Upwind
Initialization Gauge pressure 0 Pa
X velocity 0 m/s
Y velocity 0 m/s
Z velocity -0.6451117 m/s
Turbulent kinetic energy 0.0002497015 m2/s2
Turbulent dissipation rate 0.00308741 m2/s3
Temperature 286.2 K

Results

Results including temperature, velocity and streamline contours are obtained for each of 4 layers.

Layers are planes parallel to XY Plane which are assigned 1 to 4 as increase of their Z. Layers 1 and 3 are regions where cold flow is heated up and layers 2 and 4 are regions where hot flow is cooled down.

Hot flow’s temperature at inlet and outlet is 286.2 K and 281.213 K respectively.

Cold flow’s temperature at inlet and outlet is 276.5 K and 282.725 K respectively.

Using  it can be obtained that heat transfer rate from hot flow is equal to 93.8503W and heat transfer rate from cold flow is equal to -93.9754W which can be taken as equal with reasonable approximation.

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

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