This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at investigating the effect of reciprocating motion on the heat transfer for the flow inside a square ribbed enclosure. This flow configuration was a modification of the modern cooling system within a reciprocating piston of a marine heavy diesel engine. Initially, the heat transfer characteristics for the ribbed duct flow were examined and validated by comparing the present data with the relevant publications. Significant heat transfer enhancements detected from the nonreciprocating forced convection tests suggested the potential for heat transfer improvement using ribbed coolant channel. For the shaking effect on the cooling performance of the ribbed enclosure, a heat transfer impediment near which the thermal boundary layers were initiated was found when the reciprocating force was relatively low. Further increase of the reciprocating force or the level of heating power enhanced heat transfer. At the highest reciprocating speed tested, the heat transfer could be increased to a level about 145% of the equivalent stationary case. This study clarified that the circular ribs could be added inside the cooling passages in order to improve the cooling performance of the piston.

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