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Heat transfer through fins

Dr Becky Selwyn
r.selwyn@bristol.ac.uk

1 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

2 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Background

 Fins used to increase heat transfer from a surface to the


surrounding fluid by increasing the surface area

 Used for:
 Heat sinks
 Heat exchangers

 How much do they increase heat transfer?

3 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Intended learning outcomes

 Derive the general fin equation for heat transfer through


a fin.

 Apply relevant boundary conditions and solve to find


the temperature profile in the fin.

 Assess and compare performance from finned surfaces


to non-finned surfaces.

4 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Contents of Topic 3

 Background
 3.1: Derivation of general fin equation
 3.2: Prismatic fins
 3.3: Solving the general fin equation for prismatic fins
 3.4: Fin performance

5 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Derivation of general fin equation

6 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Derivation of general fin equation
Consider a fin of varying cross sectional area, with no
internal heat generation. Thermal conductivity is constant.

Hot surface,Tb

z y Surrounding fluid, T∞ Assume 1D conduction

x
7 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Energy balance
Energy balance on a small element of the fin:
dQconv

Qx dAs In steady conditions:


𝑛𝑒𝑡 𝑄𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑 = 𝑄𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣
Ac(x)

dx Qx+dx
z y

x
8 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Energy balance
The heat transfer by convection is given as:
𝑑𝑄𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣 = −ℎ𝑑𝐴𝑠 𝑇∞ − 𝑇

For conduction in the x direction, as previously:


𝑑𝑄𝑥
𝑄𝑥+𝑑𝑥 = 𝑄𝑥 + 𝑑𝑥
𝑑𝑥

As the area, Ac, varies with x, Fourier’s law gives:


𝑑𝑇 𝑑 𝑑𝑇
𝑄𝑥+𝑑𝑥 = −𝑘𝐴𝑐 −𝑘 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥
𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥

9 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

General fin equation


Conservation of energy gives:
Net heat transfer Qx  Qx  dx  dQconv
by conduction
Substituting known expressions for conduction and
convection gives:
𝑑 𝑑𝑇
𝑘 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥 = −ℎ𝑑𝐴𝑠 𝑇∞ − 𝑇
𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥
Expanding the left hand side using the product rule, and
rearranging gives the general fin equation:
𝑑2 𝑇 1 𝑑𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑇 1 ℎ 𝑑𝐴𝑠
+ − 𝑇 − 𝑇∞ = 0
𝑑𝑥 2 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝐴𝑐 𝑘 𝑑𝑥

10 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


General fin equation
General fin equation

𝑑2 𝑇 1 𝑑𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑇 1 ℎ 𝑑𝐴𝑠
2
+ − 𝑇 − 𝑇∞ = 0
𝑑𝑥 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝐴𝑐 𝑘 𝑑𝑥

After solving the general fin equation to find the


temperature field, the heat transfer through the fin can be
found using Fourier’s law

11 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Prismatic fins

12 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Prismatic fins

By definition, for
prismatic fins:
 Cross sectional area is
constant:
𝑑𝐴𝑐
=0
𝑑𝑥

 Surface area is
perimeter times length
𝐴𝑠 = 𝑃𝑥

13 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Simplification: uniform cross sectional area

General fin equation:


𝑑2 𝑇 1 𝑑𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑇 1 ℎ 𝑑𝐴𝑠
+ − 𝑇 − 𝑇∞ = 0
𝑑𝑥 2 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝐴𝑐 𝑘 𝑑𝑥
𝑑𝐴𝑠
=𝑃
𝑑𝑥

For a fin of constant cross section, the general equation


simplifies to:
𝑑 2 𝑇 ℎ𝑃
− 𝑇 − 𝑇∞ = 0
𝑑𝑥 2 𝑘𝐴𝑐

14 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Solution: uniform cross sectional area
To simplify the solution we can introduce the variable
‘excess temperature’:
𝜃 𝑥 = 𝑇 𝑥 − 𝑇∞

And the constant, m:


ℎ𝑃
𝑚2 = Units: m-2
𝑘𝐴𝑐

As T∞ is constant, substitution into the simplified fin


equation gives:
𝑑2 𝜃
2
− 𝑚2 𝜃 = 0
𝑑𝑥
15 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Solution: uniform cross sectional area

𝑑2 𝜃
− 𝑚2 𝜃 = 0
𝑑𝑥 2
The general solution to this linear, homogeneous, 2nd order
differential equation is:
𝜃 𝑥 = 𝐶1 𝑒 𝑚𝑥 + 𝐶2 𝑒 −𝑚𝑥

This can be solved when two boundary conditions are


known – usually one at the fin base and one at the fin tip.
Once θ is known, heat transfer is calculated using Fourier’s
law.

16 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Alternative derivation of prismatic
fin equation

17 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Alternative derivation
Start with the general conduction equation and apply it to
the fin:
𝜕 𝜕𝑇 𝜕 𝜕𝑇 𝜕 𝜕𝑇 𝜕𝑇
𝑘𝑥 + 𝑘𝑦 + 𝑘𝑧 + 𝑞𝑔 = 𝜌𝐶𝑝
𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑧 𝜕𝑧 𝜕𝑡

The fin is homogeneous and isotropic, and conduction is 1D


and steady state:
𝜕 2 𝑇 𝑞𝑔
+ =0
𝜕𝑥 2 𝑘

18 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


𝜕 2 𝑇 𝑞𝑔
+ =0
𝜕𝑥 2 𝑘

Heat transfer leaving the fin (i.e. convection) is a negative


internal heat generation:
𝑑𝑄𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣 = −ℎ𝑑𝐴𝑠 𝑇∞ − 𝑇 = −𝑞𝑔 𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥
Surface Volume
area

So we have an expression for qg:


ℎ 𝑑𝐴𝑠
𝑞𝑔 = − 𝑇 − 𝑇∞
𝐴𝑐 𝑑𝑥
19 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Substitution of the convection term and simplification for


prismatic geometry leaves:
𝑑 2 𝑇 ℎ𝑃
− 𝑇 − 𝑇∞ = 0
𝑑𝑥 2 𝑘𝐴𝑐

Which is rewritten using θ and m as before:


𝑑2 𝜃
2
− 𝑚2 𝜃 = 0
𝑑𝑥

20 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Prismatic fin solutions

21 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Prismatic fin

Ac
d 2
2
 m 2  0
dx

Qb  x   C1e mx  C2 e  mx
L

x
22 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Boundary conditions

 x   C1e mx  C2 e  mx
BC1:
 Known base temperature, Tb
Ac

BC2 options:
 Infinitely long fin
Qb  Adiabatic fin tip
 Known fin tip temperature, TL
L  Convection at fin tip

x
23 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Useful trig identities

e x  e x
sinh  x  
sinh  x   cosh  x 
2 d
e  ex
x
cosh  x  
dx
cosh  x   sinh  x 
2 d
sinh  x 
tanh  x  
dx
cosh  x 

24 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Prismatic fin solution (1)

Infinitely long fin

25 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Boundary conditions: infinite fin

Temperature at base of fin is known:


 0  Tb  T   b TL≈T∞

Fin length is ‘very long’ and tends


towards infinity: Tb
L
L  0

26 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Solve  x   C1e  C2e for constants
mx  mx

At the fin base:


𝜃 0 = 𝑇𝑏 − 𝑇∞ = 𝜃𝑏
𝜃𝑏 = 𝐶1 + 𝐶2
𝐶1 = 𝜃𝑏 − 𝐶2
At the infinitely long tip:
𝜃 𝐿 = 0 = 𝐶1 𝑒 𝑚𝐿 + 𝐶2 𝑒 −𝑚𝐿
0 = 𝜃𝑏 − 𝐶2 𝑒 𝑚𝐿 + 𝐶2 𝑒 −𝑚𝐿
𝜃𝑏 𝑒 𝑚𝐿
𝐶2 = 𝑚𝐿 𝑒 𝑚𝐿
𝑒 − 𝑒 −𝑚𝐿 = →1
2 sinh 𝑚𝐿
27 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Temperature distribution
Sub C1 then C2 into 𝜃 𝑥 = 𝐶1 𝑒 𝑚𝑥 + 𝐶2 𝑒 −𝑚𝑥 :
𝜃 𝑥 = 𝜃𝑏 − 𝐶2 𝑒 𝑚𝑥 + 𝐶2 𝑒 −𝑚𝑥
𝜃 𝑥 = 𝜃𝑏 − 𝜃𝑏 𝑒 𝑚𝑥 + 𝜃𝑏 𝑒 −𝑚𝑥
𝜃 𝑥 = 𝜃𝑏 𝑒 −𝑚𝑥
TL≈T∞
θ

Tb Known θb
θL→ 0

x
28 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Heat transfer
In steady conditions, heat transferred through fin must be
equal to heat entering fin base by conduction.

Applying Fourier’s law at the base gives total heat transfer


through the fin:
d
Qb  kAc
dx x 0

Qb  kAc m b e  mx  mkAc b
x 0

29 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Prismatic fin solution (2)

Adiabatic fin tip

31 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Boundary conditions: adiabatic fin tip

Temperature at base of fin is


known:
 0  Tb  T   b

Fin tip is adiabatic – i.e.


Q=0
no/negligible heat transfer at Tb
the tip:
d
0
dx x L

32 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Solve for constants
From known temperature at base of fin:
 0  Tb  T   b

 b  C1  C2

From adiabatic fin tip:


d
0
dx x L

C1me mL  C2 me mL  0

33 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Temperature distribution and heat transfer


Known θb
θ

Tb Q=0 Zero
temperature
gradient
cosh mL  x 
 x    b x
cosh mL 

Apply Fourier’s law at the base of the fin:


sinh mL  x 
Qb  kAc b m
cosh mL  x o
Qb  mkAc b tanh mL 
34 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Prismatic fin solution (3)

Known fin tip temperature

35 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Boundary conditions: known fin tip


temperature

Temperature at base of fin is known:


 0  Tb  T   b TL

Temperature at tip of fin is known:


Tb
 L   TL  T   L

36 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Solve  x   C1e  C2e for constants
mx  mx

BC1: At the fin base:


 0  Tb  T   b

 b  C1  C2 C1   b  C2

BC2: At the fin tip:

 L    L

 L  C1e mL  C2 e  mL  b e mL   L
C2 
e mL  e  mL
37 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Temperature distribution and heat transfer


TL Known θb
θ

Tb
Known θL

 L sinh mx    b sinh mL  x  x


 x  
sinh mL 

Apply Fourier’s law at the base of the fin:


 L m cosh mx    b m cosh mL  x 
Qb  kAc
sinh mL  x 0

 b cosh mL    L
Qb  kAc m
sinh mL 
38 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Prismatic fin solution (4)

Convection at fin tip

39 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Boundary conditions: convection at fin tip

Temperature at base of fin is known:


 0  Tb  T   b Ac

Energy balance assuming convective


heat transfer from fin tip:
Tb Qconv
hAc T L   T   kAc
dT
dx xL

d
h L   k
dx xL

40 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Solve for constants
From known temperature at base of fin:
 0  Tb  T   b

 b  C1  C2

From convection at fin tip:


d
h L  k
dx xL

  
h C1e mL  C2 e  mL  km C2 e  mL  C1e mL 
41 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Temperature distribution and heat transfer


Ac Known θb
θ

Qconv
Tb

x
cosh mL  x   h mk sinh mL  x 
 x    b
cosh mL   h mk sinh mL 
Apply Fourier’s law at the base of the fin:
sinh mL   h mk  cosh mL 
Qb  mkAc b
cosh mL   h mk sinh mL 

42 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Worked example 8
A very long fin, 5 mm in diameter, has its base maintained at
100°C.
It is exposed to air at 25°C with a heat transfer coefficient
of 100 W/m2K.
a) Find the temperature distribution along the fin if the
material is aluminium (k=180 W/mK).
b) Find the heat loss through the fin.
c) How long must the fin be for the infinite length
assumption to be correct to within 1%?

43 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Worked example 9 (Q2 June 2013)
A simple soldering iron (length L, diameter d) consists of a
metallic rod with a plastic handle. The metallic rod is
wrapped uniformly with a very thin electrical resistance
wire which generates heat (Q W/m2). The thermal
conductivity of the rod is k.
1. Show that the general conduction equation can be simplified as
follows:
𝜕2𝜃 4
− ℎ𝜃 − 𝑄 = 0
𝜕𝑥 2 𝑘𝑑
2. Show that the temperature at the tip is given by:
𝑄 𝑡𝑎𝑛ℎ 𝑚𝐿
𝜃𝐿 =
ℎ ℎ
+ 𝑡𝑎𝑛ℎ 𝑚𝐿
𝑚𝑘

46 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Fin performance

47 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Fin performance

Some fin designs better than others.


How would you design fins to improve heat transfer here?

48 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Performance depends on:
 Fin material properties – thermal conductivity
 Construction – whether fin is stuck to surface or machined
from one piece of material
 Geometry of fins
 Position of fins
 Boundary conditions

49 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Fin effectiveness
How much more heat is transferred with a fin?
Fin effectiveness is given by:
Heat transfer
Qactual _ fin
 fin  through fin
Qno _ fin
Heat transfer from
surface without fin

Qactual _ fin
 fin  Convection from
hAc b area at base of fin if
fin wasn’t there

To justify fins, effectiveness should always be ≥1, usually ≥2

50 MENG31101: Heat Transfer


Increasing fin effectiveness
Heat transfer through infinitely long fin is:
Qactual _ fin  Qb  mkAc b
So fin effectiveness for an infinitely long fin is:
mkAc b kP
 fin  
hAc b hAc
Improve effectiveness by:
 Increasing thermal conductivity (better material)
 Increasing ratio of perimeter to cross sectional area (thin fins)
 Placing fins on e.g. gas instead of liquid side of heat exchanger
(for lower heat transfer coefficient)

51 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Fin efficiency
Is the heat transfer through the fin as good as it could be?
Fin efficiency is given by:
Actual heat transfer
Qactual _ fin
 fin  through fin
Qmax_ fin
Maximum possible
heat transfer
through fin, if whole
length was at base
temperature
Qactual _ fin
 fin 
hAs b Convection from
whole surface of fin
if all at base
temperature
52 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Increasing fin efficiency
For a fin with an adiabatic tip:

Qactual _ fin  Qb  mkAc b tanh mL 

Efficiency becomes:
mkAc b tanh mL  tanh mL 
 fin  
hAs b mL

ηfin→1 when L→0 (i.e. No fin)


ηfin→0 when L →∞

53 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Multiple fins
Consider an array of fins.
N = number of fins

As = surface area of
one fin

Ae = exposed
Tb
surface area of base

At = total surface
area of fins and base:
At  NAs  Ae
54 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Overall surface efficiency
Overall surface efficiency takes into account multiple fins on
a surface: Actual heat transfer through
Qtotal whole surface (base + fins)
o 
Qmax_ total Maximum possible heat
transfer through whole surface

Maximum possible heat transfer, Qmax_total, occurs if base


and whole length of fins maintained at base temperature
Qmax_ total  hAt b

55 MENG31101: Heat Transfer

Actual heat transfer is sum of heat transfer through fins and


heat transfer through exposed surface of base:
Qtotal  Qactual _ fins  Qbase
Qtotal  N fin hAs b  hAe b

Substitution gives overall surface efficiency:


N fin hAs b  hAe b
o 
hAt b

o  1 
NAs
1  fin 
At
56 MENG31101: Heat Transfer
Worked example 10
An engine cylinder is made from an aluminium alloy (k=186
W/mK). It is 0.15 m long with an external diameter of 50
mm. 5 annular fins are cast onto the cylinder at equal
spacings (each is 5 mm thick and 20 mm long, with an
efficiency of 95%).
Typical operating conditions are: engine cylinder is at 500 K,
surrounding air is at 300 K, heat transfer coefficient is 50
W/m2K.
Find the increase in heat transfer due to the fins.

57 MENG31101: Heat Transfer