modeFRONTIER for Virtual Design and Optimization of Compact Heat Exchangers

Marco Carriglio, Alberto Clarich, Rosario Russo, Enrico Nobile, Paola Ranut (ESTECO)

CHALLENGE - The main purpose of this study is the development of an innovative methodology for Heat Exchangers (HE) design to replace the conventional design procedures. This new procedure, in the scope of Project OptimHEX, utilizes optimization software modeFRONTIER to create HE virtual models by targeting several objectives: HE performance, optimal use of material, HE minimal weight and size and optimal manufacturability. 

SOLUTION - The proposed methodology starts with an automatic CFD simulation of a parametric model of a periodic HE core element (HECE). This is followed by the definition of a Response Surface (meta-model) covering all the possible range of parameters' combination. The input parameters nodes are directly connected to the parametric CAD interface (CATIA v5). Model files are transferred to the ANSYS Workbench interface, used for the meshing operations and CFD analysis. Objectives of the analysis are: maximize HE effectiveness, minimize power losses. Constraint is a cooling power greater than 3KW. Optimization methodology selected in modeFRONTIER is the genetic algorithm NSGA-II, based on Response Surfaces.

BENEFITS - The versatility of the methodology, due to the modularity of modeFRONTIER platform, offers the possibility of a large scenario of applications for Fluid Power systems. The optimal selected design is characterized by an effectiveness of 0.994, a power consumption of 415W and a heat duty of 3799W.