Calculation of Friction Factors and Nusselt Numbers for Twisted Elliptical Tube Heat Exchangers Using Nek5000

Dillon R. Shaver, Lane B. Carasik, Elia Merzari, Nate Salpeter, Edward Blandford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Twisted elliptical tube geometries for heat exchanger design are expected to offer significant enhancement in heat transfer with a marginal increase in frictional losses. The presented work focuses on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of heated molten salt flows through twisted elliptical tube geometries at low modified Froude numbers. The objectives of this work are to evaluate the available correlations at low Froude numbers and to determine the impact of using a small gap to resolve contact points. The spectral element CFD code Nek5000 was used for all simulations, which were performed in periodic domains of triangular and square unit cells surrounding a single tube through a complete twist using an explicit filtering large eddy simulation (LES) method. The simulation methodology was validated by comparing to the experimental data of Tan et al. Excellent agreement was observed for this comparison. The Dzyubenko correlation for transitional flow was evaluated for a range of Froude numbers. This correlation demonstrated good agreement with LES results at high modified Froude number. As Froude number was decreased toward the bounds of the correlation, the agreement worsened. Cases were then simulated at low Froude number, testing the effects of tube spacing. It was determined that the laminar case for the square unit cell is the most affected by increasing gap size, which should be minimized to mitigate the effect. In the triangular unit cell, the laminar flow regime is also more significantly impacted by increasing gap size compared to the turbulent flow regime which was only marginally impacted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071205
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Calculation of Friction Factors and Nusselt Numbers for Twisted Elliptical Tube Heat Exchangers Using Nek5000'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this