A simple air-side data analysis method for partially wet flat-tube heat exchangers

Young Gil Park, Anthony M Jacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An air-side data analysis method is developed for flat-tube heat exchangers under partially wet conditions. In order to simplify the combined sensible and latent heat transfer, it is assumed that condensate drainage paths develop such that, at steady state, water does not spread to noncondensing surfaces, which therefore remain dry. The air dew point is compared to local fin-tip and fin-base temperatures, and a partially wet flat-tube heat exchanger is partitioned into fully wet, partially wet, and dry-fin regions, which are subsequently analyzed as separate heat exchangers. Using an enthalpy-based effectiveness-NTU (number of transfer units) method, average fin efficiency is calculated for each region, and the locations of region boundaries are determined iteratively. The proposed data analysis method is demonstrated with experimental data for a flat-tube louver-fin heat exchanger under various latent loads. The general approach presented can be extended to other heat exchanger geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalHeat Transfer Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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