Void Fraction and Flow Pattern of R-290 in A Horizontal Evaporator: Effects of Pipe Diameter and Cooling Capacity
Keywords:R-290, void fraction, flow pattern, air conditioning, evaporator
Void fraction and flow pattern play important roles in the performance of evaporator in an air conditioning system. In this paper, the behaviors of void fraction and flow pattern of refrigerant R-290 in a horizontal evaporator are discussed. To simplify the analysis, the evaporator was divided into 10 segments. The void fraction was calculated based on the refrigerant flow quality and the flow pattern was determined on the basis of superficial gas and liquid velocity plotted in the flow pattern map. The calculation was carried on air conditioning machines with nominal capacities of 2.64 kW, 3.62 kW, and 5.28 kW using the evaporator pipe diameters of 3/8 in and 5/16 in. Generally, the lower evaporating temperature results in the higher void fraction, higher gas superficial velocity, and lower liquid superficial velocity. For all ranges of evaporator diameter and cooling capacity, annular flow is found to be the dominant flow pattern. The wavy flow is only found in the lower cooling capacity and larger evaporator diameter. Meanwhile, the slug flow occupies 16.7% to 25.8% of evaporator segment.
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