Research Papers

Numerical Simulation of Laminar Liquid Film Condensation in a Horizontal Circular Minichannel

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Da Riva

Dipartimento di Fisica Tecnica,  University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, Padova I-35131, Italydavide.delcol@unipd.it

D. Del Col1

Dipartimento di Fisica Tecnica,  University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, Padova I-35131, Italydavide.delcol@unipd.it


Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(5), 051019 (Apr 13, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005710 History: Received July 30, 2010; Revised March 11, 2011; Published April 11, 2012; Online April 13, 2012

A three-dimensional volume of fluid (VOF) simulation of condensation of R134a inside a 1 mm i.d. minichannel is presented. The minichannel is horizontally oriented and the effect of gravity is taken into account. Simulations have been run both with and without taking into account surface tension. A uniform interface temperature and a uniform wall temperature have been fixed as boundary conditions. The mass flux is G = 100 kg m−2 s−1 and it has been assumed that the flow is laminar inside the liquid phase while turbulence inside the vapor phase has been handled by a modified low Reynolds form of the k–ω model. The fluid is condensed till reaching 0.45 vapor quality. The flow is expected to be annular without the presence of waves, therefore the problem was treated as steady state. Computational results displaying the evolution of vapor–liquid interface and heat transfer coefficient are reported and validated against experimental data. The condensation process is found to be gravity dominated, while the global effect of surface tension is found to be negligible. At inlet, the liquid film is thin and evenly distributed all around the tube circumference. Moving downstream the channel, the film thickness remains almost constant in the upper half of the minichannel, while the film at the bottom of the pipe becomes thicker because the liquid condensed at the top is drained by gravity to the bottom.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Cartesian axis convention

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Figure 2

Example of temperature profile in the liquid film computed by using different values of coefficient r in Eqs. 18,19

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Figure 3

Cross-sectional shape of liquid–vapor interface at different vapor qualities

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Figure 4

Cross-sectional average void fraction and vapor quality versus axial position

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Figure 5

Void fraction versus vapor quality: Comparison between VOF simulation and Rouhani correlation [27-28]

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Figure 6

Heat transfer coefficient versus axial position: Cross-sectional average values and average values at the channel upper and lower halves are depicted

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Figure 7

Local liquid film thickness moving from the channel top (0 deg) to the bottom (180 deg) at different vapor qualities

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Figure 8

Liquid axial mass flow rate along axial coordinate

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Figure 9

Cross-sectional average heat transfer coefficient: Computed values and experimental data by Matkovic [3]

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Figure 10

Axial velocity along vertical axis at different vapor qualities

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Figure 11

Interface at cross section corresponding to 0.5 vapor quality for simulations with and without surface tension effect




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