Numerical simulation of flow field and heat transfer of streamlined cylinders in crossflow

Zhihua Li, Jane Davidson, Susan Mantell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


The use of streamlined tubes to reduce pressure drop across polymer tube bundles is considered because of the relative ease of fabrication. The drag and convective heat transfer coefficients along the outer surface of lenticular and elliptical tubes with minor-to-major axis ratios of 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8 are determined numerically for cross-flow Reynolds numbers from 500 to 10,000. An isothermal surface is assumed. The two-dimensional, unsteady Navier-Stokes equations and energy equation are solved using the finite volume method. Laminar flow is assumed from the front stagnation point up to the point of separation. Turbulent flow in the wake is resolved using the shear stress transport k-omega model. Local heat transfer, pressure and friction coefficients as well as a total drag coefficient and average Nusselt number are presented. The results for streamlined tubes are compared to published data lor circular and elliptical cylinders. Drag of the elliptical and lenticular cylinders is similar and lower than a circular cylinder. Reductions in drag may be increased by making the streamlined cylinders more slender. Over the range of Reynolds number considered, an elliptical cylinder with an axis ratio equal to 0.5 reduces pressure drop by 30 to 40 percent compared to that of a circular cylinder. The lenticular and elliptical geometries have nearly identical average of Nusselt number. The average Nusselt number of an elliptical or lenticular cylinder with axis ratio of 0.5 and 0.3 is 15 to 35% lower than that of a circular cylinder. A case study for an automotive radiator is presented to illustrate comparison of shaped and circular tubes in terms of both heat transfer and pressure drop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, HT 2005
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event2005 ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, HT 2005 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2005Jul 22 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference


Other2005 ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, HT 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cross flow
  • Cylinder
  • Elliptical
  • Enhancement
  • Heat transfer
  • Lenticular
  • Pressure drop


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