Effects of air curtain on temperature distribution in refrigerated vehicles under a hot climate condition

[+] Author and Article Information
Lin Cong

School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT United Kingdom LXC330@student.bham.ac.uk

Qinghua Yu

School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT United Kingdom yqh2015@hotmail.com

Geng Qiao

Kantstraße 162 Berlin, 10623 Germany g.qiao.z@gmail.com

Yongliang Li

Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK Birmingham, B15 2TT United Kingdom Y.Li.1@bham.ac.uk

Yulong Ding

Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT, United Kingdom Birmingham, B152TT United Kingdom y.ding@bham.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications. Manuscript received December 7, 2018; final manuscript received March 27, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Amir Jokar.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043467 History: Received December 07, 2018; Accepted March 27, 2019


Refrigerated vehicle plays an essential role in the cold-chain applications. It directly affects the quality and shelf life of specialized perishable goods. However, the cold energy dissipation caused by natural convection through an open door during partially unloading breaks the isothermal cold environment and notably elevates the air temperature inside the refrigerated container. This temperature rise is harmful to the remaining food. In this study, an air curtain was introduced near the container doorway to attempt to reduce the cold energy dissipation caused by partially unloading. A numerical model was established to explore the effects of the key parameters of the air curtain such as the airflow rate, nozzle width and jet angle on the air flow and temperature evolution inside the refrigerated container after the door is opened. The numerical results show that the key parameters need to be tailored to form a stable and effective air curtain for preventing the internal cold energy loss or external hot air invasion. An effective and stable air curtain was formed to make the inner air temperature only increase by about 3 degree C from the initial temperature of 5 degree C after the door was opened, when the jet velocity was set to 2 m/s, the nozzle width was set as 7.5 cm, and the jet angle was set between 0° and 15°. This work can offer significant guidance for the introduction of an effective air curtain in a refrigerated vehicle to avoid failure of cold-chain transportation.

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