Natural convection from a tube bundle in a thin inclined enclosure

W. Liu, J. H. Davidson, F. A. Kulacki

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43 Scopus citations


Natural convection heat transfer coefficients for a rectangular array of eight tubes contained in a thin enclosure of aspect ratio 9.3:1 and inclined at 30 deg to the horizontal are measured for a range of transient operating modes typical of a load side heat exchanger in unpressurized integral collector-storage systems. Water is the working fluid, and thermal charging is accomplished via a constant heat flux on the upper boundary. All other boundaries are well insulated. Results for isothermal and stratified enclosures yield the following correlation for the overall Nusselt number: Nu D = (0.728±0.002)Ra D0.25, 4.0 × 10 5 ≤ Ra D≤1.4×10 7. The flow field in the enclosure is inferred from measured temperature distributions. The temperature difference that drives natural convection is also determined. The results extend earlier work for the case of a single tube and provide limiting case heat transfer data for a tube bundle that occupies the upper portion of the collector storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-709
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


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