A steady state sensible performance analysis of multi-pass cross-flow finned-tube heat exchangers is reported. The investigation considers various flow circuiting, such as counter cross-flow, parallel cross-flow, and cross-flow where the tube-side flow is in parallel. A previously developed matrix approach is used to evaluate the heat exchanger performance in each tube pass. The equations required to model the thermal performance of these configurations are presented, and the thermal performance is compared for each type of flow circuiting. Thereafter a parametric study on cross-flow heat exchanger performance is performed by varying physically significant parameters such as number of transfer units (NTU) and capacity rate ratios, and the graphical results for each type of flow circuiting are presented both for both two-pass and three-pass arrangements. A consistent criterion is proposed for each case, wherein increasing the NTU beyond a certain threshold value does not significantly improve heat exchanger thermal performance.

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