Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Mechanical Engineering.


Fartaj, Amir (Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering)




Microchannels have several advantages over traditional large tubes. Heat transfer using microchannels recently have attracted significant research and industrial design interests. Open literatures leave with question on the applicability of classical macro-scale theory in microchannels. Better understanding of heat transfer in various microchannel geometries and building experimental database are continuously urged. The purpose of this study is to contribute the findings and data to this emerging area through carefully designed and well controlled experimental works. The commercially important glycol-water mixture heat transfer fluid and multi-port slab serpentine heat exchangers are encountered in heating and cooling areas, e.g. in automotive, aircraft, and HVAC industries. For a given heat duty, the large diameter tubes experience turbulent flow whereas the narrow channels face laminar flow and often developing flow. Study of low Reynolds number developing glycol-water mixture laminar flow in serpentine microchannel heat exchanger with parallel multi-port slab is not available in the open literature. Current research therefore experimentally investigates glycol-water mixture and water in simultaneously developing laminar flows. Three multi-port microchannel heat exchangers; straight and serpentine slabs, are used for each fluid. Friction factors of glycol-water mixture and water flows in straight slabs are higher than conventional fully developed laminar flow. If a comprehensive pressure balance is introduced, the results are well compared with conventional Poiseuille theory. Similar results are found in serpentine slab. The pressure drop for the straight core is the highest, manifolds are the intermediate, and serpentine is the least; which are beneficial for heat exchangers. The heat transfer results in serpentine slab for glycol-water mixture and water are higher and could not be compared with conventional fully developed and developing flow correlations. New heat transfer correlations are therefore developed in current study. The experimental data are compared with improved scheme of modified Wilson Plot Technique and numerical simulation having the same geometries and operating conditions. Very good agreements in results were found in all cases. The presence of adiabatic serpentine bend in multi-port flat slab heat exchanger enhances more heat transfer with less pressure drop penalty as compared to the initial entrance condition caused by the inlet manifold.