Heat Transfer in a Tube with U-Bend — Simulation Example


Heat exchangers are commonly used in a wide variety of heating and cooling applications. One common type of heat exchanger  is the radiator in an automobile powered by internal combustion (IC) engines. In an IC engine, a coolant liquid is passed through the engine to absorb the heat generated during the combustion process. This liquid is then directed through the winding tubes of the radiator where it cools by exchanging heat through the tube walls with air driven through the radiator by a cooling fan or by vehicle motion. This process of heat exchange between the air and the coolant through the tube is generally referred to as conjugate heat transfer.


In this example, you will learn how to set up a 3D conjugate heat transfer case in Ansys Fluent. The geometry is that of a pipe with a 180-degree U-bend, which is representative of a section of the winding tubes in an automotive radiator. You will learn how to set up a case with external convective heat transfer and analyze the results to understand how this affects the temperature of the fluid inside the pipe.


Download the Mesh file required for setting up the simulation and associated Case & Data files here. Follow the instructions below to set up this simulation in Ansys Fluent starting with the Mesh file. In case you face any issues setting up or running the simulation, refer to the corresponding initial and final Case and Data files.

Alternate video link.

Results & Discussion

Let us now analyze the results from the simulation and identify the temperature drop of the fluid in the pipe.