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A Visualization Study During Flow Boiling of R134a In A Horizontal Microchannel
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9902-2087
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
2010 (English)In: ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels Collocated with 3rd Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting, ICNMM2010, 2010, 85-94 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, the experimental flow boiling visualization results of a microchannel are presented and discussed. A series of visualization experiments have been conducted in a horizontal, circular, uniformly heated microchannel, to record the two-phase flow patterns evolved during the boiling process and to study the ebullition process. A high speed camera (REDLAKE HG50LE) with a maximum of 100000 fps together with tungsten lights was used to capture the images along the test section. Microchannel was made of circular fused silica tube having an internal diameter of 0.781 mm and a uniformly heated length of 191 mm. Outside of the test tube was coated with a thin, electrically conductive layer of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) for direct heating of the test section. Refrigerant R134a was used as working fluid and experiments were performed at two different system pressures corresponding to saturation temperatures of 25 degrees C and 30 degrees C. Mass flux was varied from 100 kg/m(2)s to 400 kg/m(2)s and heat flux ranged from 5 kW/m(2) to 45 kW/m(2). Visualization results show that the bubble growth is restricted by the tube diameter which results in very short existence of isolated bubbly flow regime except essentially restricted to a very short length of test tube. Flow patterns observed along the length were: Isolated bubble, elongated bubble, slug flow, semi annular and annular flow. Rigorous boiling and increased coalescence rates were observed with increase in heat flux. Bubble frequency was observed to increase with both heat and mass flux. A comparison with our previous flow boiling visualization studies, carried out for a test tube of 1.33 mm internal diameter, shows that the number of active nucleation sites is less while the bubble frequency is higher for the current study. Mean bubble length and bubble velocity during elongated bubble flow pattern have also been calculated from the images obtained during the tests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. 85-94 p.
Keyword [en]
microchannels, two-phase, flow patterns, heat transfer, visualization
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27037DOI: 10.1115/FEDSM-ICNMM2010-30218ISI: 000290556300011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84855815291ISBN: 978-079185450-1OAI: diva2:374670
ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, ICNMM2010 Collocated with 3rd Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting; Montreal, QC; Canada; 1 August 2010 through 5 August 2010

QC 20101206

Available from: 2010-12-06 Created: 2010-12-06 Last updated: 2014-09-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phase Change Phenomena During Fluid Flow in Microchannels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phase Change Phenomena During Fluid Flow in Microchannels
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Phase change phenomena of a fluid flowing in a micro channel may be exploited to make the heat exchangers more compact and energy efficient. Compact heat exchangers offer several advantages such as light weight, low cost, energy efficiency, capability of removing high heat fluxes and charge reduction are a few to mention. Phase change phenomena in macro or conventional channels have been investigated since long but in case of micro channels, fewer studies of phase change have been conducted and underlying phenomena during two-phase flow in micro channels are not yet fully understood. It is clear from the literature that the two-phase flow models developed for conventional channels do not perform well when extrapolated to micro scale.

In the current thesis, the experimental flow boiling results for micro channels are reported. Experiments were conducted in circular, stainless steel and quartz tubes in both horizontal and vertical orientations. The internal diameters of steel tubes tested were 1.70 mm, 1.224 mm and the diameter of quartz tube tested was 0.781 mm. The quartz tube was coated with a thin, electrically conductive, transparent layer of Indium-Tin-Oxide (ITO) making simultaneous heating and visualization possible. Test tubes were heated electrically using DC power supply. Two refrigerants R134a and R245fa were used as working fluids during the tests. Experiments were conducted at a wide variety of operating conditions.

Flow visualization results obtained with quartz tube clearly showed the presence of confinement effects and consequently an early transition to annular flow for micro channels. Several flow pattern images were captured during flow boiling of R134a in quartz tube. Flow patterns recorded during the experiments were presented in the form of Reynolds number versus vapour quality and superficial liquid velocity versus superficial gas velocity plots. Experimental flow pattern maps so obtained were also compared with the other flow pattern maps available in the literature showing a poor agreement. Flow boiling heat transfer results for quartz and steel tubes indicate that the heat transfer coefficient increases with heat flux and system pressure but is independent on mass flux and vapour quality. Experimental flow boiling heat transfer coefficient results were compared with those obtained using different correlations from the literature. Heat transfer experiments with steel tubes were continued up to dryout condition and it was observed that dryout conditions always started close to the exit of the tube. The dryout heat flux increased with mass flux and decreased with exit vapour quality. The dryout data were compared with some well known CHF correlations available in the literature. Two-phase frictional pressure drop for the quartz tube was also obtained under different operating conditions. As expected, two-phase frictional pressure drop increased with mass flux and exit vapour quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xii, 141 p.
Trita-REFR, ISSN 1102-0245
Microchannels, Boiling, Heat Transfer
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26796 (URN)978-91-7415-829-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-17, M3, Brinellvägen 64, KTH, Stockholm, 20:35 (English)
QC 20101206Available from: 2010-12-06 Created: 2010-11-28 Last updated: 2011-05-18Bibliographically approved

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