A number of solar domestic hot water systems and many combined space and water heating systems have heat exchangers placed directly in the storage fluid to charge and/or discharge the tank. Operation of the heat exchanger produces a buoyancy-driven flow within the storage fluid. With a view toward controlling the flow field to increase heat transfer, a cylindrical baffle is inserted in a 350 l cylindrical storage tank. The baffle creates a 40 mm annular gap adjacent to the tank wall. A 10 m-long, 0.3 m2 copper coil heat exchanger is placed in the gap. The effects of the baffle on the transient heat transfer, delivered water temperature, heat exchanger effectiveness, and temperature distribution within the storage fluid are presented during discharge of initially thermally stratified and fully mixed storage tanks. The baffle increases the storage side convective heat transfer to the heat exchanger by 20%. This increase is attributed to higher storage fluid velocities across the heat exchanger.
- Heat exchanger