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Heat transfer laboratory


To determine the natural convection heat transfer co-efficient h for the
vertical and horizontal position of cylindrical tube which is exposed to the
atmospheric air and losing heat by natural convection.

The purpose of this experiment is to study experimentally the natural
convection pipe flows at different heating level.

There are certain situations in which fluid motion is produced due to
change in density resulting from temperature gradients, which heat
transfer mechanism is called as free or natural convection. Natural
convection is the principal mode of heat transfer from pipes, refrigerating
coils, hot radiators etc. the movement of fluid in free convection is due to
the fact that the fluid particles in the immediate vicinity of the hot object
become warmer than the surrounding fluid resulting in a local change of
density. The warmer fluid would be replaced by the colder fluid creating
convection currents. These currents originate when a body force
(gravitational, centrifugal, electrostatic etc.) acts on a fluid in which there
are density gradients.
The force which induces these convection currents is called a buoyancy
force which is due to the presence of a density gradient within the fluid
and a body force. Grashoff number (Gr) plays a very important role in
natural convection.
In contrast to the forced convection. Natural convection phenomenon is
due to the temperature difference between the surface and the fluid is not
created by an external agency. Natural convection flow pattern for some
commonly observed situations is given in figure 1.

Heat transfer laboratory

Fig .1 Natural convection flow patterns.

The present experimental setup is designed and fabricated to study the

natural convection phenomenon from a tube in horizontal and vertical
position. In terms of the local heat transfer coefficient and its comparison
with the value which is obtained by using an appropriate correlation.
When a hot body is kept in open atmosphere, heat is transferred to the
surrounding fluid by natural convection. The fluid layer in contact with the
hot body get heated, rises up due to the decrease in its density and the
cold surrounding fluid rushes into take its place.
The process is
continuous and heat transfer takes place due to the relative motion of hot
and cold particles.
The heat transfer coefficient is given by:
A s ( T s T a ) (1)
h= average surface heat transfer coefficient
q= heat transfer rate
As= area of heat transfer surface
Ts= average surface temperature (0c)
T 1 +T 2 +T 3+ T 4+ T 5 +T 6
Ta= Ambient temperature in the duct (0c) = T7
The surface heat transfer coefficient of a system
transferring heat by natural convection depends on the shape, dimensions
and orientation of the body, the temperature difference between the hot
body and the surrounding fluid and fluid properties like k,, etc. the
dependence of h on all the above mentioned parameters is generally
expressed in terms of non-dimensional groups, as follows:
= A [ (( g L3 T )/v 2 )(( c p )/ K) ]

(hL/k) is Nusselt Number (Nu)

g L3 T
Is calledGrashoff Number (Gr)
(cp/K) is called Prandtl number
A and n are contants depending on the shape and orientation of the heat
transferring surface.
L is a characteristic dimension of the surface,

Heat transfer laboratory

K is the thermal conductivity of the fluid.
V is the kinematic viscosity of the fluid,
is the dynamic viscosity of the fluid,
Cp is the specific heat of the fluid
is the coefficient of volumetric expansion of the fluid,
g is the acceleration due to gravity at the place of experiment.
T =Ts-Ta
For gases, = T f + 273
Tf = mean film temperature

T s +T a

For a vertical cylinder losing by natural convection, the constants A and n of

equation (3) have been determined and the following empirical correlations
have been obtained:
h L
Nu= th =0.59 ( Gr . Pr ) , for 104 <Gr . Pr <109 (4)
hth L
=0.59 ( Gr . Pr ) , for 109 <Gr . Pr<10 12 (5)
Here L is the length of cylinder and h th is cylinder and hthis theoretical
heat transfer coefficient. All the properties of the fluid are evaluated at
the mean film temperature.
The arrangement of the experimental setup is shown in the fig
2.Important components of the setup are as follows:
A chromium plated copper tube of diameter (d) 32 mm and
length (L) 450 mm with a electrical heater coil along the axis
of the tube.
The heat input to the heater is measured by a wattmeter and is
varied by dimmerstat.
The temperatures of the tube are measured by six thermocouples
and are indicated on the temperature indicator. One more
thermocouple is used to measure ambient temperature.
Thermocouples are fixed at a phase of 900 on the tube surface.
An arrangement to change the position of the tube to vertical
and horizontal position.

Heat transfer laboratory