Experimental investigation of condensation in micro-fin tubes of different geometries

Guan Qiu Li, Zan Wu, Wei Li, Zhi Ke Wang, Xu Wang, Hong Xia Li, Shi Chune Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


An experimental investigation was performed for single-phase flow and condensation characteristics inside five micro-fin tubes with the same outer diameter 5mm and helix angle 18°. Data are for mass fluxes ranging from about 200 to 650kg/m 2s. The nominal saturation temperature is 320K, with inlet and outlet qualities of 0.8 and 0.1, respectively. The results suggest that Tube 4 has the highest condensation heat transfer coefficient and also the highest condensation pressure drop penalty, while Tube 5 has the highest enhancement ratio due to its lowest pressure drop penalty and intermediate heat transfer coefficient. Condensation heat transfer coefficient flattens out gradually as G decreases when G<400kg/(m 2s) for Tube 2 and Tube 4. This nonlinear mass-flux effect may be explained by the complex interactions between micro-fins and fluid, including liquid drainage by surface tension and interfacial turbulence. In addition, the experimental data was analyzed using seven existing pressure-drop correlations and four heat-transfer models to verify their respective accuracies.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Condensation
  • Heat transfer
  • Mass flux
  • Micro-fin tube
  • Pressure drop


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