Degradation of the performance of microchannel heat exchangers due to flow maldistribution

Kaspar Kirstein Nielsen, Kurt Engelbrecht, Dennis Christensen, Jesper Buch Jensen, Anders Smith, Christian Bahl

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The effect of flow maldistribution on the performance of microchannel parallel plate heat exchangers is
investigated using an established single blow numerical model and cyclic steady-state regenerator
experiments. It is found that as the variation of the individual channel thickness in a particular stack
(heat exchanger) increases the actual performance of the heat exchanger decreases significantly, deviating
from the expected nominal performance. We show that this is due to both the varying fluid flow
velocities in each individual channel and the thermal cross talk between the channels transverse to the
direction of the flow.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Pages (from-to)236-247
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Microchannels
  • Flow maldistribution
  • Thermal cross talk
  • Parallel plates


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