Heat exchanger design: Thermal performances of rectangular fins protruding from vertical or horizontal rectangular bases

Chun Wah Leung, S. D. Probert, M. J. Shilston

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental investigation of the steady-state rates of heat transfer from an array of vertical rectangular fins of 3 mm thickness and 250 mm length, protruding 60 mm perpendicularly upwards from a 250 mm × 190 mm horizontal rectangular base, is reported. For constant (to ±0·1°C) base temperatures between 40°C and 80°C, in an ambient environment of 20±0·2°C, the optimal separation of the parallel fins, corresponding to the maximum rate of heat loss, is 10·5±1·0 mm. The effects of the extent of the fin protrusions on the thermal performances of such vertical fins, on the same base, which was arranged to be either vertical or horizontal, have been studied. The experiments were performed with three different fin protrusions, namely 32 mm, 60 mm and 90 mm, for a base temperature of 40°C above that of the ambient environment. The steady-state rate of heat dissipation from the fin array increased slightly less than linearly with the fin protrusion for both orientations, but the relationship became closer to linear as the fin spacing was increased. A comparison of the abilities to dissipate heat to the room air from the same geometrical configuration having a rectangular fin array but positioned with vertical fins on a vertical base, vertical fins protruding upwards from a horizontal base, or horizontal fins on a vertical base, has been made. The orientation with vertical fins protruding upwards from the horizontal base, is the preferred option because of the relatively high rates of heat transfer that can then be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-140
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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