Optimization of convective fin systems: a holistic approach
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A numerical analysis of natural convection heat transfer and entropy generation from an array of vertical fins, standing on a horizontal duct, with turbulent fluid flow inside, has been carried out. The analysis takes into account the variation of base temperature along the duct, traditionally ignored by most studies on such problems. One-dimensional fin equation is solved using a second order finite difference scheme for each of the fins in the system and this, in conjunction with the use of turbulent flow correlations for duct, is used to obtain the temperature distribution along the duct. The influence of the geometric and thermal parameters, which are normally employed in the design of a thermal system, has been studied. Correlations are developed for (i) the total heat transfer rate per unit mass of the fin system (ii) total entropy generation rate and (iii) fin height, as a function of the geometric parameters of the fin system. Optimal dimensions of the fin system for (i) maximum heat transfer rate per unit mass and (ii) minimum total entropy generation rate are obtained using Genetic Algorithm. As expected, these optima do not match. An approach to a `holistic' design that takes into account both these criteria has also been presented.
KeywordsHeat Transfer Rate Entropy Generation Total Heat Transfer Natural Convection Heat Transfer Maximum Heat Transfer
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