OPEN CELL METAL FOAM HEAT EXCHANGERS FOR AIR-DEHUMIDIFICATION APPLICATIONS
Open cell metal foams have emerged as promising porous materials for various thermal applications such as energy storage and electronics cooling. The physical and mechanical characteristics suggest significant advantages over conventional fin configurations for use in air-cooling heat exchangers. The larger surface area to volume ratio and repetitive cell structure introducing the boundary layer restart and thus enhancing the mixing have been identified as important attributes for such applications. An experimental study has been conducted to evaluate the performance of metal foam heat exchangers under dehumidifying conditions. Closed-loop wind tunnel experiments have been used to determine the pressure drop and heat transfer performance under wet-operating conditions where the parameters such as pore size and upstream face velocity have been varied to understand the potential impact of these parameters.