The paper presents four 1-dimensional models of thermal resistance of walls in a heat exchanger with rectangular minichannels. The first model is the simplest one, with a single wall separating two fluids. The second model of the so called equivalent wall takes into account total volume of intermediate walls between layers of minichannels and of side walls of minichannels. The next two more complicated models take separately into account thermal resistance of these walls. In these two models side walls are treated as fins. The results of models comparison are presented. It is shown that thermal resistance may be neglected for metal walls but it should be taken into account for the walls made of plastics. For the case of non-neglected wall thermal resistance the optimum wall thickness was derived. Minichannel heat exchangers made of plastic are larger than those built of metal, but are significantly cheaper. It makes possible to use of such exchangers in inexpensive microscale ORC installations.
The paper presents two analytical solutions namely for Fanning friction factor and for Nusselt number of fully developed laminar fluid flow in straight mini channels with rectangular cross-section. This type of channels is common in mini- and microchannel heat exchangers. Analytical formulae, both for velocity and temperature profiles, were obtained in the explicit form of two terms. The first term is an asymptotic solution of laminar flow between parallel plates. The second one is a rapidly convergent series. This series becomes zero as the cross-section aspect ratio goes to infinity. This clear mathematical form is also inherited by the formulae for friction factor and Nusselt number. As the boundary conditions for velocity and temperature profiles no-slip and peripherally constant temperature with axially constant heat flux were assumed (H1 type). The velocity profile is assumed to be independent of the temperature profile. The assumption of constant temperature at the channel’s perimeter is related to the asymptotic case of channel’s wall thermal resistance: infinite in the axial direction and zero in the peripheral one. It represents typical conditions in a minichannel heat exchanger made of metal.
Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is used, amongst the others, in geothermal facilities, in waste heat recovery or in domestic combined heat and power (CHP) generation. The paper presents optimization of an idealized ORC equivalent of the Carnot cycle with non-zero temperature difference in heat exchangers and with energy dissipation caused by the viscous fluid flow. In this analysis the amount of heat outgoing from the ORC is given. Such a case corresponds to the application of an ORC in domestic CHP. This assumption is different from the most of ORC models where the incoming amount of heat is given.