A numerical study has been conducted to investigate the influence of fin pitch and relative humidity on the heat transfer performance of the fin-and-tube heat exchangers having plain fin geometry under dehumidifying conditions. The analysis is done using the ratio between the heat transfer coefficients in totally wet conditions and those in totally dry conditions using the appropriate correlations for both dry and wet conditions. For a constant relative humidity, it is found that the heat transfer coefficient increases with the increase of the air frontal velocity. By contrast, the fin efficiency decreases when the face velocity is increased. Apparently, this phenomenon is attributed to the path of condensate drainage. For the influence of relative humidity, the results showed an increase in heat transfer performance and a decrease in wet fin efficiency when relative humidity increases. This is due to the higher amount of mass transfer encountered at higher relative humidity. However, it is found that the effect of fin pitch on the heat transfer performance depends strongly on the face velocity. At lower frontal velocity the heat transfer increases with fin pitch. Conversely, an increase in fin pitch gives lower heat transfer coefficients when air velocity is increased.
A numerical investigation of the fin efficiency and temperature distribution of an annular fin under dehumidification has been presented in this paper. The non-homogeneous second order differential equation that describes the temperature distribution from the fin base to the fin tip has been solved using the central finite difference method. The effects of variations in parameters including relative humidity, air temperature, air face velocity on temperature distribution and fin efficiency are investigated and compared with those under fully dry fin conditions. Also, the effect of fin pitch on the dimensionless temperature has been studied.