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Research Papers

Design of Microscale Heat and Mass Exchangers for Absorption Space Conditioning Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Ananda Krishna Nagavarapu

Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory, G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,  Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

Srinivas Garimella

Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory, G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,  Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332sgarimella@gatech.edu

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 3(2), 021005 (Jul 21, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003720 History: Received September 02, 2010; Revised February 11, 2011; Published July 21, 2011; Online July 21, 2011

This paper presents the development of a miniaturization technology for heat and mass exchangers used in absorption heat pumps. The exchanger consists of an array of parallel, aligned alternating shims with integral microscale features, enclosed between cover plates. These microscale features facilitate the flow of the various fluid streams and the associated heat and mass transfer. In an absorber application, effective vapor and solution contact and microscale features for the flow of both the solution and the coolant induce high heat and mass transfer rates without any active or passive surface enhancement. The geometry ensures even flow distribution with minimal overall pressure drops. A model of the coupled heat and mass transfer process for ammonia-water absorbers using this configuration under typical operating conditions demonstrates the potential for extremely small absorption components. The proposed concept is compact, modular, versatile, and in an eventual implementation, can be mass produced. Additionally, the same concept can be extended to the other absorption heat pump components as well as for several other industries involved in multicomponent fluid processes.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Absorber exploded view

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Figure 2

Shim A schematic

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Figure 3

Shim B schematic

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Figure 4

Vapor inlet arrangement

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Figure 5

Representative heat exchanger channels

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Figure 6

Solution and vapor mass flow rate as a function of absorber length

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Figure 7

Solution and vapor concentrations as a function of absorber length

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Figure 8

Temperature as a function of the absorber length

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Figure 9

Cumulative mass absorption rate as a function of the absorber length

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Figure 10

Vapor sensible heat duty as a function of segment

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Figure 11

Absorber heat duty as a function of absorber length

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Figure 12

Pressure drop as a function of absorber length

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Figure 13

Thermal resistance per unit length as a function of segment

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Figure 14

Absorber segmental lengths

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