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HEAT EXCHANGERS


and the residuals of the individual iteration steps continue to be drawn on.


Possible applications of CFD


The range of applications for CFD simulations is extremely diverse in the acr industry. The development of new products undoubtedly tops the list here. Even today, critical product-specific problems are examined in advance at Güntner using CFD, without a single sheet having to be bent or a hole drilled. The optimum position of the spray nozzles on the new HydroSpray system was determined based on simulation results. The casing of the new FLAT series was successfully optimised under fluid mechanics aspects in terms of the distance between the fan plate and heat exchanger coil – without the need to perform sets of measurements on prototypes.


Likewise, products that are already on the market can be investigated systematically using CFD. Are there possibilities for improvement in specific areas? How does the unit behave in specific installation locations or circumstances? Last but not least, extremely valuable


information can be obtained with CFD simulations in relation to very basic questions concerning flow, pressure drop and temperature distribution


in finned heat exchangers. The possibility to analyse areas and/or physical dimensions that can be examined only with significant effort from a measurement perspective should certainly also be emphasised here, such as the air flows around the core tubes but also local temperatures and pressures. Moreover, routine calculation of downstream pressure drop and heat transfer from numerical flow simulations is now so precise as to replace actual measurements, at least in the first instance. This means that the most promising candidates can be determined from a larger number of fin variants from an optimal cost and time perspective, without the need to construct and measure a prototype specifically for each variant.


Summary


In the field of science, numerical flow simulation (CFD) has also been established for some time in the area of finned, air-cooled heat exchangers. Increasingly powerful computers additionally ensure that small and medium-sized companies in this sector can perform their own CFD analyses cost-effectively. Comparatively cost-effective computing capacity can be leased on the web for larger projects.


This article should provide a concise overview of the different areas within Güntner where this tool is already being used successfully. The air flow in and to the unit can therefore be studied in greater detail as early as during the development stage of a new product. Moreover, the findings from numerical flow simulations are of enormous benefit when it comes to improving current products or examining specific applications in greater detail. CFD simulations also provide helpful results in terms of answering fundamental questions. For example, it is possible to routinely examine pressure drops and heat transfers in finned heat exchangers in sufficient detail and to visualise strong turbulences and reverse flows. It goes without saying that it cannot be and also is not the aim of Güntner to develop new solvers or turbulence models for the numerical flow simulation of heat exchangers or to simulate a cooler down to the finest detail. Instead, it is much more a question of using existing tools efficiently wherever it makes sense because, for example, measurements would be too costly. Measured data always forms the basis on which the simulation has to be initially validated before further calculations can be performed with regard to the actual question.


JM


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