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1.

TITLE

2.0

INTRODUCTION

The heat convection trainer (model: tera-ct-115) used to introduce

students to the heat transfer process through natural and forced convection.
Convection is heat transfer by mass motion of fluid such as air or water when
the heated fluid is caused to move away from the source of heat, carrying
energy with it.
3.0

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Heat Convection Trainer (Model: TERA-CT-115) is used for

introducing students to the principle of natural and forced convection heat
transfer process. The trainer consists of heating element with different
shapes. The air blew from the fan via ducting will extract the heat from the
heater elements and will bring it to exhaust of the system.
The trainer contains three different heating elements. These heaters
have the shape of round, fin and flat plate. The axial fan is located at one
end of the ducting. The temperatures are measured by suing k-type
thermocouple at four different locations to stimulate the heat transfer
process. Air velocity meter is fixed at the ducting to measure the velocity of
air passing through the ducting. The temperature readings can be observed
using the i3 DAQ software provided together with the trainer.
3.1

Experimental Capabilities
To study the temperature distribution along the length of a

vertical pipe in natural and forced convection

To calculate Nu and Pr numbers in natural and forced convection
To determine the surface heat transfer coefficient for a vertical
tube losing heat by natural and forced convection

3.2

Unit Construction

Figure

1: The

Heat

Convection Trainer (Model: TERA-CT-115)

1. Control panel
2. Power meter
3. Thermocouple
(4pcs)
4. Ducting-Exhaust
section
4.0
4.1

5. interchangeable Heater
section
6. Axial fan
7. Ducting-intake section
8. Air intake control valve

SUMMARY OF THEORY
Introduction to Convection Heat transfer

The term convection refers to heat transfer that will occur between a
surface and a moving or stationary fluid when they are at different
temperatures as shown in Figure 2. This mode of heat transfer comprises of
two mechanisms. In addition to energy transfer due to random molecular
motion (conduction), energy is also transferred by the bulk, or macroscopic
motion of the fluid. This fluid motion is associated with the fact that, at any

instant,

large

numbers

of

molecules

are

moving

collectively

or

as

aggregates. Such motion. In the presence of a temperature gradient,

contributes to heat transfer. Because the molecules in the aggregate retain
their random motion, the total heat transfer is then due to the superposition
of the energy transport by the random motion of the molecules and by the
bulk motion of the fluid. It is customary to use the term convection when
referring to this cumulative transport, and the term advection when referring
to transport due to bulk fluid motion.

Figure 2: Convection from a surface to a moving fluid

We have learned in the fluids course that, with fluid flow over a
surface, viscous effects are important in the hydrodynamic (velocity)
boundary layer and for a Newtonian fluid, the frictional shear stresses are
proportional to the velocity gradient. In the treatment of convection in the
heat transfer course, you have been exposed to the concept of thermal
boundary layer, the region that experiences a temperature distribution from
that of the free stream

to the surface

Ts

Figure 3: Hydrodynamic and thermal boundary development in

convection heat transfer
Appreciation

of

boundary

layer

phenomena

is

essential

to

understanding of convection heat transfer. It is for this reason that the

discipline of fluid mechanics plays a vital role in our analysis of convection
mechanism.
It is important to emphasize that convection heat transfer may be
classified according to the nature of the flow. We speak of forced convection
when the flow is caused by external means, such as fan, a pump, or
atmospheric winds. In contrast, for free (or natural) convection, the flow is
induced by buoyancy forces, which arise from the density differences caused
by the temperature variance in the fluid. We speak also of external and
internal flow. As we learned in the fluid mechanics course, external flow is
associated with immersed bodies for situations such as flow over plates,
cylinders and foils. In internal flow, the flow is constrained by the tube or
duct surface. We saw that corresponding hydrodynamic boundary layer
phenomena are quite different, so it is reasonable to expect that the
convection process for the two types of flow are distinctive.
Regardless of the particular nature of the convection heat transfer
process, the appropriate rate equation, known as the Newtons law of
cooling, is of the form,
q = {q} over {{A} rsub {s}} =h left ({T} rsub {s} - {T} rsub {} right )
where q is the convective heat flux (W/m2), is proportional to the difference
between surface and fluid temperatures,

and

T s , respectively and

the proportionality constant h (W/m2. K) is termed the convection heat

transfer coefficient. When using the equation above, the convection heat flux

is assumed to be in positive if the heat transfer is from the surface ( T

T s ) and negative if the heat transfer is to the surface ( T
However, if in situation ( T

>

<

>

T s ).

expressing Newtons law of cooling as,

q = h left ({T} rsub {s} - {T} rsub {} right )
In this case heat transfer is positive to the surface. The choice of
Equation is normally made in the context of a particular problem as
appropriate. It is important to note that the convection coefficient depends
on conditions in the boundary layer, which is influenced by surface
geometry, the nature of
thermodynamics

and

fluid motion,

transport

properties.

Any

study

of

convection

ultimately reduces to a study of the means by which h may be determined.

One of the means to estimate the value of h under turbulent flow conditions
will be carried out in the present experiment.
5.0
5.1

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES
Experimental procedures
1. The convection heat transfer rig was connected to a 240 V AC
single phase power source and the main switch was switched on
from the control panel. The digital meter display was allowed to
start up for a few seconds before performing the experiment.
2. The anemometer prop was made sure to properly fitted into the
ducting.
3. The fan was switched on and the air was let to run in the ducting
for a few minutes.
4. The ducting was inserted with flat plate heater and the
temperature was observed without any heat.
5. The temperature values were recorded observed in i3 DAQ
software as well as the reading from anemometer.

6. The power used by the heater was observed using the power
meter provided.
7. The heater switched on using the heater switch in control panel
and we waited until the steady state condition is established. The
temperature and the velocity was recorded in the tables
provided.
8. When the experiment was completed the heater was switched off
first and the apparatus was allowed to cool for 2 to 3 minutes
before the fan was switched off.
9. The steps 4-8 was repeated with other heaters.
5.2

Shut-down procedure
1. The system was switched off using the button in control panel.
2. The heater plug was taken off from the panel and it was arranged
in the space provided at the bottom of the rig

6.0
6.1

Result

Flow case
Heater
surface area
Free stream
velocity
T1
T2
Tm
Density,
(kg/m3) at Tm
Specific heat
capacity, Cp
(j/kg.C) at Tm
Kinematic
viscosity, v at
Tm

Rod Heater
Low
High
0.09048

Fin Heater
Low
High
0.09

Flat Plate Heater

Low
High
0.018

1.016

2.032

1.016

2.032

1.016

2.052

26.52
30.06
28.29

28.83
30.19
29.51

26.38
29.60
27.99

32.21
33.66
32.94

29.12
38.87
34.00

25.85
35.85
30.85

1.1708

1.1660

1.1720

1.1528

1.148

1.1608

1007

1007

1007

1007

1007

1007

1.5923*
10-5

1.6035*
10-5

1.5895*
10-5

1.6356*
10-5

1.6456*
10-5

1.6160*
10-5

Thermal
conductivity,
k (W/m. K) at
Tm
Mass flow
rate,
Heat
absorbed, Q
(watts)
Heat transfer
coefficient, h
Hydraulic
diameter, DH
Nusselt
number from
experiment,
(Nuexp)
Prandtl
Number from
experiment,
Prexp
Nusselt
Number from
correlation,
Nucor

Nu/Pr (1/3)

6.2

0.02575

0.02587

0.02573

0.02610

0.02618

0.02594

0.01713

0.03412

0.01715

0.03373

0.01680

0.03397

136.0

136.5

136.8

136.5

136.5

135.5

424.6

1109.3

472.05

1045.98

777.78

725.78

0.12

0.12

0.12

0.12

0.12

0.12

1978.72

5151.55

2201.55

4809.10

3565.07

3357.50

0.7287

0.7283

0.7288

0.7274

0.7271

0.7280

43.18

66.65

52.33

72.91

51.40

73.37

7656.85

15206.7

7670.34

47.93

74.08

58.15

14908.2
9
81.07

7411.55
57.16

15089.1
1
81.56

Discussion

When each particle of the fluid follows the flow of a fluid in a smooth
path which never interfere with one another it is called as laminar flow. In
laminar flow, the velocity of the fluid remains constant throughout the path,
at any point in the fluid. On the other hand, irregular flows that creates tiny
whirlpool regions are called the turbulent flow where the velocity of the fluid
in this type of flow are not constant at any point of the fluid. The increase in
viscosity of the fluid that is caused by the intense mixing of air in turbulent

flow caused increase in friction force which in turn increases the heat
transfer coefficient. Hence, turbulent flow has higher convection heat
transfer coefficient compared to laminar flow.
The

difference

between

the

Nusselt

number

obtained

through

experiment and the one that we got through the correlation is considered to
be too high. This is the result of the constant that were assumed in the
correlation which is not possible to be kept constant in the experiment. One
of it is the velocity of air flow. In correlation we assumed that the air flows
are constant but in experiment it changes as it travels through the funnel as
there is presence of surface friction between the air and the funnel surface
and the fin surfaces. Another factor would have been the supply of the air
through forced convection, we could see the fluctuation in the power supply
to the blower which means the mass of air entering the funnel is not the
constant.
The Reynolds number in considered to be the most significant in the
determination of the properly of convection heat transfer as it resembles the
characteristics of the fluid that causes convection heat transfer. Higher
Reynolds number indicates turbulent flows (Re < 2000) where the heat
transfer coefficient in high while lower Reynolds number indicates laminar
flow (Re > 2000) where the heat transfer coefficient is much lower.
Empirical correlation based on geometries exist between Nusselt
number, Reynolds number, Prandtl number and Rayleigh number. It depends
on the way the fluid is initiated. An average Nusselt number is the function of
Rayleigh number and Prandtl number for a natural convection, while for
forced convection, Nusselt number is the function of Reynold and Prandtl
number. The average Nusselt number is significant as it represents the heat
transfer coefficient across the boundary.
7.0

CONCLUSION

The temperature distribution along the length of the vertical pipe was
studied in natural and forced convection by varying the velocity of the air
and the geometry of the funnel; where the Nusselt number and Prandtl
number was calculated using the data obtained. Even though the Nusselt
number obtained through experimental values and correlation differs, with
the increase in the Nusselt number in both the value when the convection is
switched from natural convection (laminar flows) to forced convection
(turbulent flow) it can be proved that the surface heat transfer coefficient of
a vertical tube is higher in forced convection.