Project Description

The Flow in an oil/water Plate Heat Exchanger for the Automotive Industry

Lozano, A.; Barreras, F.; Fueyo, N.; Santodomingo, S.

Applied Thermal Engineering. 2008


This paper presents an experimental and numerical work to analyze the flow in an oil/water plate heat exchanger for the automotive industry. The plate heat exchanger is designed as 21 equal plates assembled in a stack. Each plate has a series of grooves in the surface, and is mounted upside down with respect to the preceding one, so that channels are formed that should direct the fluid motion and increase the heat transfer area. The flow has been experimentally studied by means of planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) to visualize its structure, and particle image velocimetry (PIV) with fluorescent particle tracers to measure its velocity. It has also been numerically simulated. In both cases, it has been observed that, for the analyzed design and either for oil or water, the flow is not uniform, and preferentially moves along the lateral extremes of the plates that conform the heat exchanger.