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Title: Flow boiling of R245fa in vertical small metallic tubes
Authors: Pike-Wilson, Emily Alexandra
Advisors: Karayiannis, T
Keywords: Surface roughness
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The research presented is part of a larger study, dedicated to investigating flow boiling in small to microchannels. The test facility, originally designed by Huo (2005) and since used by Chen (2006) and Mahmoud (2011), has been used to investigate flow boiling of R134a across a range of channel diameters and both seamless cold drawn and welded channels. These previous studies concluded that one of the reasons for discrepancies in reported data is the result of surface characteristics. The objective of this current study is to further investigate the effect of channel characteristics and changing the refrigerant to R245fa. Surface characteristics are investigated with stainless steel, copper and brass channels, all seamless cold drawn and 1.1 mm internal diameter. Experiments using R245fa were initially conducted in the same stainless steel channel used with R134a by Mahmoud (2011). This allowed for the surface characteristics to be negated and the comparison to be based purely on the changes in the thermophysical properties between R134a and R245fa. Experiments were conducted at inlet pressures of 1.85 and 2.45 bar, mass fluxes of 100 – 400 kg/m2s, heat fluxes from 1 – 60 kW/m2 and vapour qualities from 0 – 0.95. The test section surfaces were evaluated based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser microscopy (CFLSM). SEM allowed for a visual inspection of the channel surface, with clear differences in the surface stricter evident. The surfaces were then compared based on two CFLSM profilers. The values of the surface parameters differed between the two profilers but the same trend was seen, brass being the roughest surface and copper the smoothest. Changes in the surface parameter values were found to be a function of the scan area, scan resolution and cut-off value. A borosilicate glass tube, at the test section exit, allowed for flow visualisation. Mahmoud (2011) reported bubbly, slug, churn and annular flow for R134a, with no effect of hysteresis. Churn and annular flow were present for R245fa with an increasing heat flux. This was a result of a higher surface tension for R245fa which facilitates annular flow. Hysteresis was evident for R245fa, with bubbly, slug, churn and annular flow seen with a decreasing heat flux. The hysteresis effect is a result of nucleation sites activating during the increase in heat flux and remaining activated as the heat flux is decreased. The activation of nucleation sites depends on the size, which was constant due to the same channel being used, and the wall superheat. The wall superheat is lower for R245fa which does not allow for the nucleation sites to be initially activated with an increasing heat flux. The same effect of hysteresis was evident for copper and brass. Differences in the exit vapour quality and heat flux at which flow patterns occurred were seen between the three materials. The heat transfer coefficient varied in both magnitude and trend between R134a and R245fa. Mahmoud (2011) reported an almost constant heat transfer coefficient with vapour quality at a higher magnitude than seen for R245fa. R245fa showed an increasing trend with vapour quality. Peaks in the heat transfer coefficient were seen to be a result of surface flaw, evident when plotting as a function of the axial location. The test section was reversed in orientation, moving the location of the peak from near the entry of the test section to near the exit. A similar heat transfer coefficient peak was seen at the same axial location, near the exit of the test section, confirming that the peak was a result of a surface flaw and a result of the flow developing. The heat transfer coefficient changed in magnitude and trend for copper and brass. The magnitude of the recorded heat transfer coefficient did not follow the same trend as the surface parameters. The heat transfer correlations in literature did not predict the increase in the heat transfer with vapour quality, performing poorly compared with R134a. The best correlation for the prediction of both refrigerants was that of Mahmoud and Karayiannis I (2012). The pressure drop for R245fa was over 300 % higher than that of R134a, with a steeper increase with heat flux. This is attributed to a higher liquid viscosity and lower vapour density for R245fa. The pressure drop was highest for the roughest channel, brass, but lowest for stainless steel which had the intermediate roughness. The smoothest channel, copper, showed the largest difference in the effect of inlet pressure on the measured pressure drop and the roughest surface, brass, the smallest difference. The effect of surface characteristics on pressure drop is greater than the effect of changes in the fluid properties with inlet pressure. Pressure drop correlations performed poorly for R245fa in comparison with R134a, with the majority under predicting the pressure drop. Only one pressure drop correlation included a function of the surface parameters, Del Col et al. (2013), but this correlation under predicted the effect of the surface parameters on pressure drop. There was no one correlation which gave satisfactory results for all three materials.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Theses

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