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Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 27 (2) (2013) 593~599

www.springerlink.com/content/1738-494x

DOI 10.1007/s12206-012-1236-3

Experimental study on natural convection heat transfer from horizontal cylinders with longitudinal plate fins
Hyun Jung Kim, Byoung Hoon An, Jinil Park and Dong-Kwon Kim*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon, 443-749, Korea (Manuscript Received December 23, 2011; Revised July 23, 2012; Accepted September 19, 2012) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of various fin numbers, fin heights, and base temperatures on natural convection from horizontal cylinders with longitudinal plate fins experimentally. Experimental results were used to establish a correlation for estimating the Nusselt number under the following conditions: Rayleigh number, 300000-1000000; fin-height-to-cylinder-diameter ratio, 1/6-1/2; and fin number, 9-72. In addition, a contour map was developed to describe the thermal resistance as a function of the fin number and fin thickness.
Keywords: Cylinder; Natural convection; Nusselt number; Plate-fin heat sink ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Introduction
Recently, microelectronic devices have suffered thermal problems due to internal increases in power density [1, 2]. Higher power densities lead to an increase in the junction temperature, which is harmful to device performance and reliability. In particular, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are in need of a proper cooling method. As the junction temperature increases, the efficiency of LEDs decreases drastically. This is because defect states and an increase in the leakage of carriers from the quantum well result in an increase in non-radiative recombinations [3]. Therefore, a highly effective cooling mechanism is needed to achieve reliable operation of the electronic components [4, 5]. Among various cooling methods, natural convective heat sinks have proven to be appropriate for LEDs, because of their inherent simplicity, reliability, and low long-term cost [6]. Most previous studies have focused on cooling through natural convective heat transfer using a horizontal cylindrical heat sink. This type of heat sink has a cylindrical body with fins attached, and has been well reported by Martynenko and Khramtsov [7] and by Raithby and Hollands [8]. Sparrow and Bahrami performed an experiment based on the naphthalene sublimation method to determine the fin heat-transfer rate from square vertical fins attached to a horizontal tube [9]. Their study focused on the effect of fin-to-fin spacing for the fixed fin dimensions and showed that the fin heat-transfer rate
Corresponding author. Tel.: +82 31 219 3660, Fax.: +82 31 219 1611 E-mail address: dkim@ajou.ac.kr Recommended by Associate Editor Man-Yeong Ha KSME & Springer 2013
*

remained unchanged for small fin-to-fin spacing, but increased with the fin surface area for large fin-to-fin spacing. Regarding numerical approaches, Chen and Chou applied the finite difference method in conjunction with the least-squares scheme to predict the heat transfer coefficient of square vertical fins attached to a horizontal tube. They also proposed the Nusselt number correlation [10]. In addition, they suggested that as the fin-to-fin spacing increased, the heat transfer coefficient for a single square fin also increased and approached an asymptotic value. Yildiz and Ync reported on an experimental investigation of the heat transfer from annular fin arrays mounted on a horizontal cylinder [11]. These authors proposed that an optimum fin-to-fin spacing exists that will maximize the heat transfer rate from the fin array. Hahne and Zhu also conducted an experimental study on horizontal cylinders with annular fins [12]. They showed that smaller fins have a higher heat transfer coefficient in terms of fin height. In addition, they visualized and measured the temperature field of fin surfaces to obtain the Nusselt number correlation for horizontal cylinders with annular fins. Due to the geometry of LED lightings, cylindrical heat sinks with longitudinal plate fins (shown in Fig. 1) take center stage for cooling LED lightings. However, few investigations regarding the Nusselt number for the natural convection from horizontal cylinders with longitudinal plate fins have been reported. Facas and Brown conducted a numerical study on a horizontal cylinder with multiple low-conductivity, longitudinal baffles attached to the external surface [13]. The researchers numerically simulated the average Nusselt numbers for Rayleigh numbers between 103 and 106, ratios of fin height

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Table 1. Geometry and configuration of the tested heat sinks. Heat sink No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Nfin 9 12 18 36 72 9 12 18 36 72 9 12 18 36 72 (b) Schematic diagram of experimental setup 30 20 60 50 1.0 (a) Schematic diagram of a heat sink 10 H [mm] D [mm] L [mm] t [mm]

Fig. 1. Cylindrical heat sink with longitudinal plate fins for cooling LED lighting [17].

and cylinder diameters between 0.25 and 0.5, and fin numbers between 1 and 11. Their model used baffles made of lowconductivity material for insulating the cylinder, which resulted in suppression of the buoyancy-induced flow. Therefore, their results are not applicable to the design of heat sinks. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no empirical correlation of the Nusselt numbers for natural convection from horizontal cylinders with longitudinal plate fins, which would be applicable to wide ranges of fin numbers and fin heights. Thus, in the present study, an experimental investigation was carried out to establish a Nusselt number correlation for estimating the natural convective heat transfer rate from a horizontal cylinder with longitudinal plate fins; this was done as an extension of previous work on a vertical cylinder [14]. Extensive experiments were conducted for various fin numbers, fin heights, and base temperatures to obtain a wide range of conditions for the correlation. Based on the data from the experimental results, we suggest a Nusselt number correlation that is applicable when the Rayleigh number is in the range 3000001000000; the fin-height-to-cylinder-diameter ratio is 1/6-1/2; and the fin number is in the range 9-72. A contour map is also suggested based on the correlation, to show the thermal resistance as a function of fin number and fin thickness.

(c) Photograph of experimental setup

(d) Positions of thermocouples Fig. 2. Experimental apparatus.

2. Experimental procedure
Temperatures were measured at several points for various fin numbers, fin heights, and base temperatures to obtain the Nusselt number correlation and the thermal resistances of natural convective heat sinks. Fig. 2(a) shows a schematic diagram of the tested heat sink. Detailed dimensions of the heat sinks are listed in Table 1. To get correlations for a wide range of fin heights and fin numbers, 15 different heat sinks

H. J. Kim et al. / Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 27 (2) (2013) 593~599
60

595

Table 2. Experimentally measured thermal resistances and Nusselt numbers calculated for various fin heights and fin numbers.

50

40
Heat sink 1 (H=0.01m, N=9 ) Heat sink 2 (H=0.01m, N=12) Heat sink 3 (H=0.01m, N=18) Heat sink 4 (H=0.01m, N=36) Heat sink 5 (H=0.01m, N=72) Heat sink 6 (H=0.02m, N=9 ) Heat sink 7 (H=0.02m, N=12) Heat sink 8 (H=0.02m, N=18) Heat sink 9 (H=0.02m, N=36) Heat sink 10 (H=0.02m, N=72) Heat sink 11 (H=0.03m, N=9 ) Heat sink 12 (H=0.03m, N=12) Heat sink 13 (H=0.03m, N=18) Heat sink 14 (H=0.03m, N=36) Heat sink 15 (H=0.03m, N=72)

Tw - Tamb (K)

30

20

10

0 0 3 6 9 12 15 18

21

24

27

30

q (W)

Fig. 3. Measured temperature differences.

were used. The tested heat sinks consisted of an annular cylinder base and fins, both of which were made of aluminum alloys 5052 (k = 138 W/mK) and 6061 (k = 167 W/mK), respectively. The fins were attached to the base annular cylinder using interference fit. A cartridge heater was then located in the center of the base cylinder (Fig. 2(b)). A thermal interface material (TC-5080; Dow Corning) was used to reduce the contact thermal resistance between the heat sink and the heater. The heat loss from the top and bottom sides of the base was minimized by using 200-mm-long cylindrical supporting blocks made of Teflon (Figs. 2(b) and 2(c)). A power supply (E3633A; Agilent Technologies) was used to supply electrical power with a range of 1 to 35 W to the heater. The heat loss through the supporting blocks was measured in order to calculate the net heat transfer rate to the heat sink. The value obtained by subtracting the measured heat loss from the electric power supplied to the heater was considered as the net heat transfer rate. As shown in Fig. 2(d), four J-type thermocouples were attached by thermal epoxy to the surface of the cylinder for the measurement of base temperature. The signals from the thermocouples were obtained and converted into temperature data by a data acquisition unit (34970A; Agilent Technologies). When the change in temperature was smaller than 0.1C for the steady state, the temperature distribution at the bottom of the heat sink was measured for a 2min period. To avoid changes in environmental conditions, measurements were carried out in an isolated and quiescent room. Data acquisition was repeated three times for each experimental case. An uncertainty analysis was performed to estimate the error in the experimental results [15].

3. Results and discussion


The thermal resistance of the heat sink was calculated by taking the ratio of the temperature difference and the heat transfer rate. The related equation is given in Eq. (1). To provide the data necessary to calculate the thermal resistance of the tested heat sink from Eq. (1), the temperatures of the heat sink base and the ambient air were measured for various conditions. Fig. 3 shows the results for the difference between the

heat sink base temperature (Tw) and the ambient temperature (Tamb) for various fin numbers (N), fin heights (H), and heat inputs (q).
Rth

Tw Tamb q

(1)

The thermal resistance was defined as the temperature difference between the heat sink base temperature and the ambient temperature per unit heat flow rate. The calculated thermal resistance values are summarized in Table 2.

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H. J. Kim et al. / Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 27 (2) (2013) 593~599

In general, the thermal resistance can be expressed as a function of fin efficiency as follows:
1 h( NA f + Ab )

H Nu D = f N , Nu D , cyl , D

Rth =

(2)

6 0.387 Ra1/ H D = f N , 0.60 + 9 /16 D 1 + ( 0.559 / Pr )

8 / 27

(11)

where , h, Af, and Ab are the fin efficiency, heat transfer coefficient, fin surface area, and unfinned surface area, respectively.
hp hp tanh H + h ks k s Ac ks Ac , hp hp k s tanh H 1+ h k s Ac k s Ac

( hpks Ac ) hA f

0.5

(3)

h = Nu D k f / D ,
Ab = DL NLt , A f = 2 HL + 2 Ht + Lt .

(4) (5) (6)

Here, Ac, p, and NuD are the fin cross-sectional area, fin perimeter, and Nusselt number, respectively.
Ac = Lt ,

p = 2 L + 2t .

(7) (8)

The function f reflects the effect of the plate fins on the heat transfer coefficient. Therefore, f should be a function of N and H/D. The function f(N, H/D) should satisfy the following conditions: (1) f(N, H/D) approaches 1 as N and H/D decrease. It is because NuD = NuD,cyl when the heat transfer from the fins are negligible compared to the that from the cylinder base. (2) f(N, H/D) monotonically decreases as N increases and H/D decreases. The reason is that the heat transfer from each fin can be decreased by the overlapping of boundaries that occur from each fin. Increasing the fin number or decreasing the fin height increases the effect of the boundary overlapping. The various functional forms such as f(N,H/D) = (1 + C1N) (1 + C2H/D), f(N,H/D) = C1N C2H/D, and f(N, H/D) = 1 + C1N + C2H/D satisfy the conditions. All of these functional forms can be uses for the correlation. However the accuracy of the correlation strongly depends on the functional form. Therefore, we applied the least-square fitting method to these functional forms, and finally found that the functional form
H H f N , = 1 + C1 N + C2 D D

(12)

Once the thermal resistance was obtained from the experimental measurement and Eq. (1), the heat transfer coefficient could be determined from Eqs. (2) and (3). The Nusselt number could then be calculated using Eq. (4). The calculated Nusselt numbers are summarized in Table 2. The Nusselt number correlation for the horizontal cylinder with fins was developed by considering the Nusselt number correlation of the horizontal cylinder without fins, which can be found from Eq. (9), according to [16]:
6 0.387 Ra1/ D = 0.60 + 9 / 16 1 + ( 0.559 / Pr )
2

is matched best with the experimental data among these functional forms. The empirical coefficients C1 and C2 that match the Nusselt numbers calculated from the experimental data are determined using a least-squares fit:
C1 = 0.0117 , C2 = 0.353 .

(13)

Finally, the correlation of the Nusselt number for the horizontal cylinder with plate fins becomes (9)
6 0.387 Ra1/ H D NuD = 1 0.117 N + 0.353 0.60 + 9 /16 D 1 + ( 0.559 / Pr ) .
2

Nu D ,cyl

8 / 27

8 / 27

where
g f (Tw Tamb ) D 3

(14) . (10) As expected, Eq. (14) indicates that the heat transfer coefficient increases as the fin height increases. In contrast, the heat transfer coefficient increases as the fin number decreases. The reason is that the heat transfer from each fin can be affected by the overlapping of boundaries that occur from each fin. Increasing the fin height or decreasing the fin number can be considered to have the same effect as overlapping of the boundaries. In Fig. 4, the comparison between the Nusselt numbers cal-

RaD =

f f

In the present study, the Nusselt number correlation for the horizontal cylinder with plate fins was assumed to be the corrected form, which was obtained by multiplying a functional coefficient times the Nusselt number correlation for the horizontal cylinder without fins:

H. J. Kim et al. / Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 27 (2) (2013) 593~599

597

18 16

+15%

0%

Nu obtained from experimental data

14

-15%
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

Nu obtained from Eq. (14)

Fig. 4. Comparison of calculated Nusselt numbers with those from the experimental data.
9 8 7 6

Experimental data (H=30mm) Heat sink 11 (N=9) Heat sink 12 (N=12) Heat sink 13 (N=18) Heat sink 14 (N=36) Heat sink 15 (N=72)

Correlation N=9 N=12 N=18 N=36 N=72

Rth (K/W)

5 4 3 2 1 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000 1200000

Fig. 7 Contour map of thermal resistances according to various fin numbers and fin thicknesses (H = 30 mm, D = 60 mm, L = 50 mm, Tw - Tamb = 50C, kf = 0.026 W/m K, ks = 220 W/m K, f = 1.6 10-5 m2/s, f = 2.23 10-5 m2/s, and f = 0.0033/K).

RaD

Fig. 5. Thermal resistances for various fin numbers.


15 14 13 12 11 10 9

Experimental data (N=36) Heat sink 4 (H=0.01m) Heat sink 9 (H=0.02m) Heat sink 14 (H=0.03m)

Correlation H=0.01m H=0.02m H=0.03m

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000

resistance can be identified in Fig. 5 to have an optimal value at a specific fin number. Although the thermal resistance decreases as N increases from 9 to 36, it increases again for N > 36. Therefore, the minimum value of thermal resistance can be obtained at a specific fin number. As mentioned earlier, the reason is that even though the heat transfer surface area increases as the fin number increases, the heat transfer coefficient decreases due to boundary layer overlap from excessive decreases in fin spacing. For the various fin heights in Fig. 6, the thermal resistance decreases continuously as the fin height increases. However, the thermal resistance is converging on a specific value. In Fig. 7, the thermal resistance as a function of fin number and fin thickness was plotted using a contour map. From this contour map, the optimal fin number at which the thermal resistance can minimized can be obtained for a given fin thickness. Based on the proposed results, design criteria can be provided to thermally optimize the horizontal cylinder with longitudinal plate fins.

Rth (K/W)

RaD

Fig. 6. Thermal resistances for various fin heights.

4. Conclusion
In this paper, we investigated natural convection from horizontal cylinders with longitudinal plate fins. We also suggested an empirical correlation for estimating the Nusselt number in the range 300000 < RaL < 1000000, 1/6 < H/D < 1/2, and 9 < N < 72. The proposed Nusselt number correlation was in excellent agreement with the measured experimental data. The results show that the thermal resistance has an optimal value at a specific fin number. However, the thermal resistance decreases continuously without reaching an optimal value as the fin height increases. The proposed Nusselt number correlations can potentially enable easy engineering optimization and be used for optimizing the horizontal cylinder

culated from Eq. (14) and those obtained from the experimental data is plotted. The calculated Nusselt number correlation shows good agreement with the experimental data, with a maximum error of 15%. The present correlation was valid in the ranges 300000 < RaL < 1000000, 1/6 < H/D < 1/2, and 9 < N < 72, within which the experimental data were obtained. The thermal resistance of the heat sinks for various fin numbers and heights is shown in Figs. 5 and 6, respectively. The results from the correlation also coincide well with the experimental data, with a maximum error of 15%. The thermal

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with longitudinal plate fins at the early stages of thermal design of electronic components [18].

References
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Acknowledgment
This research was supported by Nano Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (grant number: 20110030285). This research was also supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (grant number: 20120003055, 2011-0026791).

Nomenclature-----------------------------------------------------------------------Ab Ac Af C B D g H h kf ks L N Ndata NuD NuD,cyl P p Pr q Rth RaD S Tamb Tw t t95%, U : Unfinned surface area [m2] : Fin cross-sectional area [m2] : Fin surface area [m2] : Empirical coefficient : Bias error : Cylinder diameter [m] : Gravitational acceleration [ms-2] : Fin height [m] : Heat transfer coefficient [W m-2 C-1] : Fluid thermal conductivity [W m-2 C-1] : Solid thermal conductivity [W m-2 C-1] : Fin length [m] : Fin number : Data number : Nusselt number based on the cylinder diameter : Nusselt number for the isolated horizontal cylinder : Precision error : Fin perimeter : Prandtl number : Heat input [W] : Thermal resistance [C W-1] : Rayleigh number : Standard deviation : Ambient temperature [C] : Heat sink base temperature [C] : Fin thickness [m] : t-distribution for a confidence level of 95% : Uncertainty

Greek Symbols

f f f

: Thermal diffusivity of the fluid [m2 s-1] : Volume expansion coefficient of the fluid [C-1] : Fin efficiency : Degree of freedom : Kinematic viscosity of the fluid [m2 s-1]

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inder, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 18 (1975) 1049-1053. [17] http://www.vegalux.co.kr [18] R. Mohan and P. Govindarajan, Experimental and CFD analysis of heat sinks with base plate for CPU cooling, Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 25 (2011) 20032012.

Dong-Kwon Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ajou University, South Korea. His current research interests include power generation, energy storage, and energy transfer by using micro/nano structures.