Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 2961–2973 | Cite as

The effect of shape of winglet vortex generator on the thermal–hydrodynamic performance of a circular tube bank fin heat exchanger

  • Wanling Hu
  • Liangbi WangEmail author
  • Yong Guan
  • Wenju Hu


In real application, the shape of the vortex generator has great influence on the heat transfer and flow resistance characteristics of tube bank fin heat exchanger. Therefore, the effect of the shape of the vortex generator on heat transfer performance of such heat exchanger should be considered. In this paper, the effect of three different shaped vortex generators (i.e. delta winglet, rectangular winglet and trapezoid winglet) on heat transfer intensity and secondary flow intensity of a circular tube bank fin heat exchanger was numerically studied. The results show that with increasing Re, overall average Nu and the non-dimensional secondary flow intensity Se m increase however friction factor f decreases. A corresponding relationship can be found between Nu and Se m, which indicates that the secondary flow intensity determines the heat transfer intensity in the fin-side channel of circular tube bank fin heat exchanger with different shaped vortex generators on the fin surfaces. Under the identical pumping power constrain, the optimal shape of the vortex generators is the delta winglet vortex generators for the studied cases.


Heat Transfer Heat Exchanger Friction Factor Secondary Flow Heat Transfer Enhancement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols


Cross section area of flow passage (m2)


Cross section area at position x (m2)


Specific heat capacity (J kg−1 K−1)


Diameter of the tube (m)


Characteristic length of flow channel (m)


Friction factor, f = Δpd e/(L x ρu max 2 /2)


Height of winglet type vortex generator (m)


Stream wise length of fin (m)


Direction normal to the cross section or wall surface


Number of the tubes


Nusselt number, Nu = hd e/λ


Pressure (Pa)


Reynolds number, Re = ρu max d e/μ


Transversal pitch between the tubes (m)


Longitudinal pitch between the tubes (m)


Secondary flow intensity, Se = ρd e U s/μ


Span strip of fin and tube area at position x (m2)


Net fin spacing (m)


Temperature (K)


Maximum average velocity of air (m s−1)

ui, u, v, w

Components of velocity vector (m s−1)

X,Y, Z


Greek letters


Thermal conductivity (W m−1 K−1)


Viscosity (kg m−1 s−1)


Density (kg m−3)


Attack angle of vortex generator (°)


Difference between two values


Pressure drop (Pa)


Vorticity (s−1)

ξ,η, ζ

Body fitted coordinate axes



Average value


Cross section averaged value


Inlet parameters


Local value


Mean or average value


Outlet parameters




Wall or fin surface



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51306085 and 51468028), the Science and Technology Plan of Gansu Province (No. 1506RJZA065 and 1506RJZA066), and Beijing Key Lab of Heating, Gas Supply, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Engineering (No. NR2015K05).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wanling Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liangbi Wang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Yong Guan
    • 1
  • Wenju Hu
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Environmental and Municipal EngineeringLanzhou Jiaotong UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Railway Vehicle Thermal Engineering (Lanzhou Jiaotong University)Ministry of Education of ChinaLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringLanzhou Jiaotong UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Beijing Key Lab of Heating, Gas Supply Ventilating and Air Conditioning EngineeringBeijing University of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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