Altwieb, Miftah Omar (2018) Modelling and Optimisation of Heat Exchanger Integrated in Fan Coil Unit. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The Fan Coil Unit (FCU) is an integral part of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems used in residential and commercial buildings. One main component of this device is a multi-tube and fin heat exchanger. Improvement of thermal performance in such heat exchangers is vital for improved performance of FCU. Performance improvements in the FCUs are mainly limited by available technology, manufacturing capabilities and overall cost effectiveness of the design. Better thermal performance usually comes at a cost of higher pressure drop or more expensive materials and manufacturing costs.

In this thesis, a global framework for design and optimisation was developed taking into account overall costs of design, manufacturing and operation. Full 3D CFD models of multi-tube and fins heat exchanger were developed to investigate complex and non-uniform flow on water and air sides of the device. The CFD models were developed to enable local heat transfer analysis within the FCU.

Experimental setup to evaluate performance of the heat exchanger has been designed and built. Different configurations of heat exchanger were tested experimentally and numerically, including the baseline configuration, so called plain fins. More efficient design of louvre fins and and fins with vortex generating mechanism (perforation in the fin surfaces) were also investigated. Best thermal performance was found to be for the perforated louvre fins.

CFD model was validated against experimental results and obtained data was used to create a novel semi-analytical prediction model for Fanning friction factor (f) and Colburn factor (j). Appropriate costs calculation model was also developed and employed for total costs estimation of the FCU over the period of 15 years.

The framework proposed in this thesis for optimised design and development strategy of heat exchangers resulted in development of a novel design which offers significant improvements in comparison to the current design.

This new optimised design of the heat exchanger (with perforation in louvre fins) increased thermal performance by additional 10% while the total costs increased by only 6%.

Miftah Altwieb FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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