Thermally developing forced convection of non-Newtonian fluids inside elliptical ducts
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Laminar-forced convection inside tubes of various cross-section shapes is of interest in the design of a low Reynolds number heat exchanger apparatus. Heat transfer to thermally developing, hydrodynamically developed forced convection inside tubes of simple geometries such as a circular tube, parallel plate, or annular duct has been well studied in the literature and documented in various books, but for elliptical duct there are not much work done. The main assumptions used in this work are a non-Newtonian fluid, laminar flow, constant physical properties, and negligible axial heat diffusion (high Peclet number). Most of the previous research in elliptical ducts deal mainly with aspects of fully developed laminar flow forced convection, such as velocity profile, maximum velocity, pressure drop, and heat transfer quantities. In this work, we examine heat transfer in a hydrodynamically developed, thermally developing laminar forced convection flow of fluid inside an elliptical tube under a second kind of a boundary condition. To solve the thermally developing problem, we use the generalized integral transform technique (GITT), also known as Sturm-Liouville transform. Actually, such an integral transform is a generalization of the finite Fourier transform, where the sine and cosine functions are replaced by more general sets of orthogonal functions. The axes are algebraically transformed from the Cartesian coordinate system to the elliptical coordinate system in order to avoid the irregular shape of the elliptical duct wall. The GITT is then applied to transform and solve the problem and to obtain the once unknown temperature field. Afterward, it is possible to compute and present the quantities of practical interest, such as the bulk fluid temperature, the local Nusselt number, and the average Nusselt number for various cross-section aspect ratios.