Heat transfer measurements were made at near-atmospheric pressure on a smooth tube, on 24 integral-fin tubes having machined, rectangular-shaped fins, and on a commercial integral-fin tube. All tubes were made of copper. The vapor flowed vertically downward with a nominal velocity of 0.4 m/s. Vapor-side heat transfer coefficients were determined with a typical uncertainty of ± 7 percent using a “modified Wilson plot” technique. The vapor-side heat transfer coefficient of the integral-fin tubes (based upon the outside surface area of the smooth tube) was enhanced considerably more than the surface area enhancement provided by the fins. Heat transfer enhancements (for the same vapor-to-wall temperature difference) up to around 7 were measured for a corresponding area enhancement of only 3.9. The optimum fin spacing was found to lie between 0.2 and 0.5 mm, depending upon fin thickness and height. The data were compared with those of other investigations and with several existing theoretical models. Visual observations of condensate drainage patterns from the finned tubes were also made.

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