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ANSYS FLUENT – Heat Exchanger

Source: Thermopedia

Heat Exchanger Tutorial using ANSYS CFX: Here

A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer heat between two or more fluids. The fluids can be single or two phase and, depending on the exchanger type, may be separated or in direct contact. Devices involving energy sources such as nuclear fuel pins or fired heaters are not normally regarded as heat exchangers although many of the principles involved in their design are the same.

In order to discuss heat exchangers, it is necessary to provide some form of categorization. There are two approaches that are normally taken. The first considers the flow configuration within the heat exchanger, while the second is based on the classification of equipment type primarily by construction. Both are considered here.

Classification of Heat Exchangers by Flow Configuration

There are four basic flow configurations:

  • Counter Flow
  • Cocurrent Flow
  • Crossflow
  • Hybrids such as Cross Counterflow and Multi-Pass Flow

Figure 1 illustrates an idealized counterflow exchanger in which the two fluids flow parallel to each other but in opposite directions. This type of flow arrangement allows the largest change in temperature of both fluids and is, therefore, most efficient (where efficiency is the amount of actual heat transferred compared with the theoretical maximum amount of heat that can be transferred).

Countercurrent flow.

Figure 1. Countercurrent flow.

In current flow heat exchangers, the streams flow parallel to each other and in the same direction as shown in  Figure 2. This is less efficient than countercurrent flow but does provide more uniform wall temperatures.

Cocurrent flow.

Figure 2. Cocurrent flow.

Crossflow heat exchangers are intermediate in efficiency between countercurrent flow and parallel flow exchangers. In these units, the streams flow at right angles to each other as shown in Figure 3


Figure 3. Crossflow.

In industrial heat exchangers, hybrids of the above flow types are often found. Examples of these are combined crossflow/counterflow heat exchangers and multi pass flow heat exchangers. (See for example Figure 4)

Cross/counter flow.

Figure 4. Cross/counter flow.


Download File: HeatExchanger

Readers Comments (16)

  1. hello sir, is there any tutorial about plate heat exchanger

  2. Hello, Can you show how to design a shell and tube type heat exchanger in Ansys Design Modeler .

  3. mehmet doğmaz May 6, 2019 @ 5:38 am

    pls help me I’m writing a graduation thesis.Pls upload to this geometry file

    • Hi friend;
      In this moment we dont have the geometry, sorry, but it is easy to create. However for simulation you need the mesh and this mesh you can download of the website.
      Best regards

  4. Amrizal Danur Sasongko June 4, 2019 @ 9:21 am

    hi sir, i just downloaded your file .cgns
    i cant open it with ansys fluent, solidworks or inventor, wich app i can use to open it? thankyou

  5. sir , i m having problem in doing simulation for a microchannel reactor in which a simple propane combustion reaction is happening. can u please help me

  6. TALHA OMAR BASHIR VARVANI August 21, 2019 @ 2:01 am

    Hello admin, is there any specific tutorials to study the flow for a spiral heat exchanger? Would appreciate it if you can help me out.

  7. Rodrigo Raggiotti August 22, 2019 @ 9:52 am

    Hi, I would like to congratulate you about your tutorials.
    I saw this tutorial (about heat exchanger) and noticed that you didn’t use inflation on meshing, and on turbulence model you used k-epsilon with scalable wall function.
    Have it any relationship about this? Could the scalable wall function substitute the inflation layer?

    • Hi friend;
      I considered inflation but with some elements, if I increase the mesh elements I will need more RAM memory, however, you can add more elements of inflation if you have a good workstation, and yes, for this reason, I used K-epsilon model.

  8. Hi Sir, How can we simulate the flow through a heat exchanger with 100X or 1000X tubes? What hardware configuration will be required to simulate heat exchanger with 1000X tubes?

  9. Humberto González September 23, 2019 @ 7:57 pm

    how do you configure the models when one of the fluids is phase changing meanwhile the other is only heating or cooling in a single phase. Thanks for helping.


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