Vortex tubes used as expansion device in vapor compression systems

J. Zhu, M. Mohiuddin, S. Elbel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The vortex tube is an intriguing device which can separate an incoming high pressure fluid stream into two low pressure fluid streams with different temperatures. The internal flow separation is achieved without any moving parts, which makes the device robust and inexpensive to design and manufacture. Commercially available vortex tubes are almost exclusively used for spot cooling in industrial applications and use compressed air as the working fluid. Fluids such as carbon dioxide which display substantial throttling losses justify research on expansion devices that can recover expansion work. Most of the work on vortex tubes used for refrigeration has been on numerical studies, and many of them predict very optimistic energy efficiency improvements. However, the operating conditions for vortex tube in these cycles are usually not possible to produce significant thermal separation as expected. In this paper, vortex tube thermal separation performance for air and a more conventional low-pressure refrigerant is provided. Suitable vortex tube operating conditions have been identified and actual work recovery effects have been demonstrated experimentally. Based on this knowledge, novel vortex tube cycles are proposed which are able to utilize the demonstrated improvement potentials of vortex tube when applied to vapor compression systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication11th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants
Subtitle of host publicationNatural Refrigerants and Environmental Protection, GL 2014
EditorsWangyang Hu, Guojun Zhao
PublisherInternational Institute of Refrigeration
Pages840-847
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9782362150043
StatePublished - 2014
Event11th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants, GL 2014 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: Aug 31 2014Sep 2 2014

Publication series

Name11th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants: Natural Refrigerants and Environmental Protection, GL 2014

Other

Other11th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants, GL 2014
CountryChina
CityHangzhou
Period8/31/149/2/14

Keywords

  • Efficiency
  • Expansion work
  • Throttling
  • Vapor compression systems
  • Vortex tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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