Heat transfer and pressure drop in the transitional flow regime for a smooth circular tube with twisted tape inserts and a square-edged inlet

31 Aug 2018

The purpose of this study was to experimentally investigate the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics in the transitional flow regime of twisted tape inserts in a circular tube. Experiments were conducted in a circular tube with an internal diameter of 19.0 mm and a length of 5.27 m, and twisted tape inserts with twist ratios of 3, 4 and 5. A square-edged geometry was used at the tube inlet and it was experimentally operated with water flowing through it while the tube was heated with a constant heat flux. The experiments were conducted at three different heat fluxes of 2, 3 and 4 kW/m2. The experimental set-up was operated between Reynolds numbers of 400 and 11 400, and the Prandtl numbers varied between 2.9 and 6.7. Two methods were used to identify the transition points of the different heat fluxes and twist ratios. The first method used the standard deviation of the temperature measurements, and the second method used three linear curve fits on a log–log scale. The curve fits made it possible for correlations to be developed for the non-dimensionalised heat transfer coefficients and friction factors, which took twist ratio, heat flux and Reynolds number into consideration. For the same heat flux, it was found that the Colburn j-factors increased as the twist ratios decreased, and transition started earlier. When the twist ratio was kept constant and the heat flux was varied, higher heat fluxes delayed the transition from laminar to transitional flow. The friction factors were found to increase as the twist ratio decreased. When both the twist ratio and the Reynolds number were kept constant, an increase in heat flux was found to decrease the friction factor.