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Research Papers

Condensation Heat Transfer in Ultracompact Minichannel Heat Exchangers

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael K. Jensen

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace,
and Nuclear Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Troy, NY 12180

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received October 23, 2012; final manuscript received June 19, 2013; published online October 21, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Arun Muley.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(1), 011003 (Oct 21, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: TSEA-12-1180; doi: 10.1115/1.4024902 History: Received October 23, 2012; Revised June 19, 2013

To improve condensation heat transfer performance in a variety of systems, reduced channel sizes are used. However, few studies have been performed on complete heat exchangers. Hence, condensation heat transfer coefficients were studied experimentally in two ultracompact heat exchangers with a hydraulic diameter of 133 μm using steam as the working fluid. Effects of mass flux, average vapor quality, saturation pressure, and heat exchanger size were examined. The condensation heat transfer coefficients showed strong influence of mass flux and quality. However, the effects of saturation pressure and heat exchange size were not significant. Three conventional and three mini/microscale correlations were compared with the experimental data. The conventional and mini/microscale correlations developed for annular flow overpredict the data significantly. The Soliman correlation developed for mist flow showed the best agreement with the data.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic for both single-phase and two-phase experiments

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Fig. 2

Pictures of the compact heat exchangers (a) the large heat exchanger, (b) the small heat exchanger, (c) SEM picture of the microstructure foil, and (d) illustration of diffusion bonding [16,20]

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Fig. 5

Nusselt number comparison between different correlations for the (a) small and (b) large test section

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Fig. 4

Wilson plot analysis of the (a) small and (b) large test section

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Fig. 3

Overall heat transfer coefficients of the small and large test sections

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Fig. 6

Heat transfer coefficients in (a) the small heat exchanger (SHX) and (b) large heat exchangers (LHX), with Psat = 112 kPa

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Fig. 7

Heat transfer coefficients in (a) the small and (b) the large heat exchangers, with Psat = 170 kPa

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Fig. 8

Effect of saturation pressure on condensation heat transfer coefficient in (a) the small and (b) the large heat exchanger (LHX) with uncertainty

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Fig. 9

Effect of heat exchanger size on condensation heat transfer coefficient under saturation pressure of (a) 112 kPa and (b) 170 kPa

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Fig. 10

Comparison with condensation correlations with the experimental data on the (a) small and (b) large heat exchanger

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