The impact of vortex generator (VG) arrays for air-side heat transfer enhancement is experimentally investigated by full-scale wind-tunnel testing of a plain-fin-and-tube heat exchanger. The VG array is deployed in a “V” to try to create a constructive interference between vortices. Each array is composed of two delta-winglet pairs (four VGs), and placed at an attack angle of 10° or 30°. The frontal air velocity considered is between 2.3–5.4 m/s, corresponding to a Reynolds number range based on the hydraulic diameter of 1500–3400. The thermal-hydraulic performance of the heat exchanger with and without VG enhancement is provided under dry-surface conditions. The experimental results indicate little impact at a relatively small attack angle of 10°. While for the 30° array, a 25–55% augmentation in air-side heat transfer coefficient is measured, but with a pressure drop penalty of 100%. Nevertheless, performance evaluation using the area goodness factor and the volume goodness factor both indicate the superiority of the enhanced heat exchanger by the 30° array over the entire Reynolds number range. The proposed array is found more effective at comparatively low Reynolds numbers, representative of many HVAC&R applications and compact heat exchanger designs.

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