CFD – Heat Exchanger Case Study

Posted on February 3, 2022

Marvin Weiss headshot

Darby’s Welding & Machine Inc. and Loenbro LLC have designed and manufactured a compact aerial multi-pass natural gas cooler that was performing better in the field than predicted by basic heat transfer calculations. As such, Coanda performed a CFD simulation of the fan-driven cooler and compared the overall heat transfer—as well as the temperature profile—to available field data.

Subsequently, Coanda did a more thorough effectiveness-NTU analysis (developed by Kays & London) of this cross-flow exchanger design with ambient air as the mixed fluid, and the predicted results were within 5% of the CFD simulation results and the field measurements.

Based on the excellent agreement of the CFD results and the effectiveness-NTU analysis, the latter was used to develop a design tool that predicts the heat exchange for other cooler sizes, configurations and conditions and can be used to determine the fan duty along with performance curves for a particular cooler configuration.

This project is a good example of how Coanda’s expertise and advanced engineering analysis capabilities were able to provide a cost-effective design tool for their client.

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