A performance analysis of porous graphite foam heat exchangers in vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Due to the increasing cooling power and space limitation in vehicles, a new compact heat exchanger graphite foam heat exchanger is proposed for vehicle cooling application. The graphite foam has high thermal conductivity (the effective thermal conductivity is 40-150 W/m K) and low density (0.2-0.6 g/cm(3)), but it has high flow resistance which is a problem in heat exchanger applications. In order to find a graphite foam heat exchanger with low flow resistance, four different configurations (baffle, pin-finned, corrugated, and wavy corrugated) of graphite foam fins are analyzed in terms of thermal performance and pressure drop by using a computational fluid dynamics approach. The simulation results show that the wavy corrugated foam presents high thermal performance and low pressure drop. Moreover, a comparative study between the wavy corrugated foam heat exchanger and a conventional aluminum louver fin heat exchanger is carried out to evaluate the performance of graphite foam heat exchangers in terms of coefficient of performance (removed heat/air pumping loss), power density (removed heat/mass of heat exchangers), and compactness factor (removed heat/volume of heat exchangers). Finally, this paper concludes that graphite foam heat exchangers should be further developed in vehicles, and presents several recommendations for how such development can be promoted. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering


  • Graphite foam, Heat exchanger, Vehicle, Thermal performance, Pressure, drop
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch