Detailed local Nusselt number distributions, streamwise mean flow patterns and cross-sectional secondary flow patterns, and friction factors in the first pass of a sharp turn two-pass square channel with various configurations of longitudinal vortex generator arranged on one wall were measured using transient liquid crystal thermography, laser-Doppler velocimetry, and pressure transducer probing, respectively. The Reynolds number, based on channel hydraulic diameter and bulk mean velocity, was fixed at 1.2 × 104. The vortex generator height-to-hydraulic diameter ratio and pitch-to-height ratio were 0.12 and 10, respectively. Comparisons in terms of heat transfer augmentation and uniformity and friction loss are first performed on 12 configurations of longitudinal vortex generator. The fluid dynamic mechanisms and wall confinement relevant to heat transfer enhancement are then documented for three-selected vortex generator models. In addition, the differences in fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics between a single vortex generator and a vortex generator array are addressed for the delta wing 1 U and 45° V U models which provide better thermal performance. The direction and strength of the secondary flow with respect to the heat transfer wall are found to be the most important fluid dynamic factors affecting the heat transfer promotion through the channel wall, followed by the convective mean velocity, and then the turbulent kinetic energy. Furthermore, the effects of the two-dimensional heat conduction near the vortex generator edge and unseen heat transfer areas on the Nusselt number estimation are documented in detail.

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