Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract This paper presents an analysis of the compound effect of finite temperature differences and fluid friction on the existence of an optimum laminar flow regime in singly connected micro channels with complex free flow area cross sections. A widespread conviction has been established that the two competing irreversibility sources in a channel flow with heat transfer lead to the existence of an optimum flow regime. The results presented in this paper clearly shows the opposite. When an objective function is represented by the entropy generation rate per unit heat capacity rate of the fluid stream, the thermodynamic optimum flow regime represents a rather rare occurrence in the laminar region of irregularly shaped ducts. The presence of an extremum is more probable for very small diameters, the ones of an order of magnitude of O(≤10−3 m). The analysis is performed for selected ranges of relevant geometric, flow, and thermal parameters of a set of straight micro channels with irregular free flow area cross-sections. The following geometries of the free flow area cross section were investigated: (i) sine duct, (ii) circular duct, (iii) elliptical duct, (iv) moon-shaped ducts, and (v) four-cuspped duct. The range of Reynolds numbers has been established between O(102) and O(104). The existence of the objective function minimum is confirmed for ducts with an irregular cross section only for very small hydraulic diameters. These minima are relatively weak, and as a general rule, the sets of optimum parameters are close to the onset of turbulence or possibly even in the transitional or turbulent regions.
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