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Research Papers

Heat Sink Effect on System Pressure and Mass Flow Rate in a Pumped Refrigerant Loop

[+] Author and Article Information
Brent A. Odom, Jonathan A. Sherbeck, Ravi S. Prasher, Patrick E. Phelan

School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy,  Arizona State University, Engineering G-Wing, 501 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287-6106

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 4(3), 031009 (Jul 16, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006716 History: Received November 27, 2011; Revised April 18, 2012; Published July 16, 2012; Online July 16, 2012

Pumped refrigerant loops (PRL) which are aimed at eventually cooling electronics often reject heat to a vapor compression cycle. A vapor compression cycle (VCC) uses a proportional, integral, and derivative controller to maintain desired conditions in its evaporator. These controllers apply an algorithm that has an associated time response. The time response and constant adjustment of the expansion valve in the VCC can result in rapid deviations from the set point temperature for the evaporator. When a PRL is coupled to a VCC through an intermediate process fluid, the result in the PRL can be rapid system-wide changes in pressure and mass flow rate depending on equipment specifications. Three options for removing heat from the PRL were evaluated for their effect on PRL system pressure and mass flow rate. Two of the options were variations of the coupling option using an FTS Maxicool RC100 recirculating chiller, while the third eliminated the coupling to the Maxicool’s VCC and used an ice water heat sink in its place. Rejecting heat from a PRL to an ice water heat sink provided more stable system pressures and mass flow rates and less of a propensity for premature dry out than rejecting heat through an intermediate process fluid to the MaxiCool’s VCC. The PRL priming time required when coupled to the ice water heat sink occurred in seconds rather than the minutes required when coupled to the VCC. For certain operating conditions in which thermal storage can be taken advantage of, the ice water heat sink can provide electricity usage cost savings of 10% or more over using a VCC alone. An ice water heat sink for a PRL has potential advantages over being coupled to a VCC, particularly for a laboratory experimental setup and potentially for larger applications.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 2

The heat sink options evaluated

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Figure 3

Evaporator inlet pressure comparison between the VCC option and the additional capacity option under identical loading and operating conditions

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Figure 4

Evaporator microchannel outlet wall temperature comparison between the VCC option and the additional capacity option under identical loading and operating conditions

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Figure 5

Evaporator inlet pressure during incremental increase of heat flux using the VCC option

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Figure 6

Condensing temperature during incremental increase of heat flux using the VCC option

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Figure 7

Evaporator inlet pressure during incremental increase of heat flux using the ice water option

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Figure 8

Condensing temperature during incremental increase of heat flux using the ice water option

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