Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Malta, 16-18 July, 2012.
To maximize the effectiveness and thus minimize the airside resistance, a relatively new heat enhancing material, aluminium foam, is compared with the current state-of-the-art, louvered fins, in a wind tunnel experiment. The comparison between both heat exchangers is done based on a well-defined Performance Evaluation Criterion (PEC), taking heat transfer and pressure drop in account. Furthermore, as the studied heat exchangers are so-called ‘low-capacity’ units, a non-uniform temperature field downstream the heat exchanger is induced. Therefore an area-mean temperature reading has been developed, with the aid of an infra red camera. Finally, the contribution of the contact resistance to the overall thermal resistance of these pressed-fit heat exchangers is investigated.