(142cz) Computational Modeling of a Microchannel Heat Exchanger Using Fluent: Pressure, Velocity, and Temperature Profiles
The design of smaller but more efficient heat exchangers is a problem of increasing importance in thermal energy management. In order to transfer more energy per unit volume, heat exchangers tend to have micro-sized contact regions between hot sources and cold streams. Due to the intricate geometries of these micro-sized heat exchangers, modeling them for pressure, velocity, and temperature profiles is a challenging but critical problem in computational fluid dynamics. In this paper a Lytron CP20 cold plate heat exchanger under constant heat flux is modeled using Fluent. The fluids under study are water and poly-alpha olefin 2 centistokes (PAO-2). Pressure, velocity, and temperature profiles are presented and compared with experimental results. Regions of especially high pressure, velocity, or temperature are highlighted and discussed. Suggestions on how to distribute velocity and temperature inside the heat exchanger are presented. Critical details on the way modeling was performed and on the limitations of the software used are also discussed.