Modeling refrigerant maldistribution in microchannel heat exchangers with vertical headers based on experimentally developed distribution results

Yang Zou, Hanfei Tuo, Pega S. Hrnjak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

R410A and R134a upward flow in the transparent vertical header and distribution into the horizontal parallel microchannel tubes were investigated. Refrigerant entered into the header by the five tubes in the bottom pass and exited through the five tubes in the top pass, representing the flow in the outdoor coil under the heat pump mode of reversible systems. Inputting the experimental quality results into a microchannel heat exchanger model, the capacity degradation compared to the uniform distribution case was calculated. The capacity degradation is related to the coefficient of variation of refrigerant maldistribution, which is affected by header geometry and inlet conditions. The capacity degradation of the whole two-pass microchannel heat exchanger was calculated by inputting the derived empirical distribution function in to the model. It was found that the capacity was reduced by up to 30% for R410A and 5% for R134a, respectively, for the conditions examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume64
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Microchannel heat exchanger
  • Modeling
  • Refrigerant distribution
  • Two-phase flow
  • Vertical header

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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