Performance evaluation of a multi-pass air-to-water thermosyphon-based heat exchanger

Hassan Mroue, Joao Ramos, Luis Wrobel, Hussam Jouhara

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The project reported in this paper used CFD as a tool to investigate the effect of multi-pass on the shell side heat transfer of a heat exchanger system. The heat exchanger system is equipped with six vertical thermosyphons transferring thermal energy from a heat source (air) to a heat sink (water). The CFD model has been experimentally validated. The two-phase change processes inside the thermosyphons were not modelled during the simulation. Instead, the thermosyphons were treated as solid rods with a constant thermal conductivity, which was calculated theoretically by applying the thermal resistance analogy with the aid of convection, boiling and condensation correlations found in the literature. The heat source consists of multiple air passes on the evaporator section of the thermosyphons and two water passes on the condenser section. Three different arrangements on the evaporator section were investigated with one, two or three shell passes and the thermal performance compared for the three configurations. The investigation was performed at various inlet conditions: a range of air inlet temperatures (100, 150, 200 and 250 °C) and mass flow rates (0.05, 0.08, 0.11 and 0.14 kg/s). The water inlet conditions were kept constant (a temperature of 15 °C and a mass flow rate of 0.08 kg/s). The overall rate of heat transfer was obtained by both CFD and a theoretical model, and the results lay within 15% of the experimental data. The numerical predictions demonstrated that the k−ε Realizable turbulence model is a reliable tool for predicting heat transfer and fluid flow in such heat exchangers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1260
Early online date8 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


  • heat pipe
  • thermosyphon
  • heat exchanger
  • CFD
  • effectiveness


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