Experimental and numerical studies were conducted to investigate the heat transfer characteristics of five shell and tube heat exchangers (STHXs) with ratio of the length to width (L/W) at the range of 1.85 to 9.23. Temperature crossover in counter flow STHXs is meaningful in food processing industry. The relationship between temperature crossover and L/W is proposed for the first time. Both the experimental and numerical results show that temperature crossover can be achieved in STHXs with L/W?4.62 and cant be achieved any more in STHXs with L/W?3.08. The results also indicate that heat transfer performance decreases with L/W decreasing. The inherent reason of this phenomenon is analyzed by computational fluid dynamics method.
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