Thermal and flow characteristics of helical coils with reversed loops Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Elsevier Ltd In this experimental study, flow and heat transfer characteristics of water through a newly designed helical coil heat transfer test section were investigated. A structural modification of the traditional helical coil has been implemented to improve its thermal effectiveness. Specifically, a 360 plastic reversed loop was added after each 180 of the main helical coil loop to redistribute the flow's velocity profile, which should have a direct effect on the thermal performance of the helical coil heat transfer test section. Results reveal that reversed loops do enhance heat transfer rates by more than 20%, while pressure drop penalty also increases but not at the same rate. The curvature of the reversed loops with respect to the main coil is a critical factor in terms of thermal performance. Furthermore, as the size of the reversed loop decreases, the heat transfer enhancement and pressure drop penalty increment for the modified helical coil test section increase as well. Accordingly, it is suggested that there may exist an optimum helical coil structural modification for which the best tradeoff between pressure drop penalty and heat transfer enhancement can be found.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Y. i., Alvarado, J. L., & Terrell, W.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM