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Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

Falling-Film Absorption Around Microchannel Tube Banks

[+] Author and Article Information
Ananda Krishna Nagavarapu

ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company,
Houston, TX 77027

Srinivas Garimella

G.W. Woodruff School
of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332
e-mail: sgarimella@gatech.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received November 21, 2011; final manuscript received April 6, 2013; published online September 27, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Patrick E. Phelan.

J. Heat Transfer 135(12), 122001 (Sep 27, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-11-1529; doi: 10.1115/1.4024261 History: Received November 21, 2011; Revised April 06, 2013

An experimental investigation of heat and mass transfer in a falling-film absorber with microchannel tube arrays was conducted. Liquid ammonia–water solution flows in a falling-film mode around an array of small diameter coolant tubes, while vapor flows upward through the tube array counter-current to the falling film. This absorber was installed in a test facility consisting of all components of a functional single-effect absorption chiller, including a desorber, rectifier, condenser, evaporator, solution heat exchanger, and refrigerant precooler, to obtain realistic operating conditions at the absorber and to account for the influence of the other components in the system. Unlike studies in the literature on bench-top, single-component, single-pressure test stands, here the experiments were conducted on the absorber at vapor, solution, and coupling fluid conditions representative of space-conditioning systems in the heating and cooling modes. Absorption measurements were taken over a wide range of solution flow rates, concentrations, and coupling fluid temperatures, which simulated operation of thermally activated absorption systems at different cooling capacities and ambient conditions. These measurements are used to interpret the effects of solution and vapor flow rates, concentrations, and coupling fluid conditions on the respective heat and mass transfer coefficients.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Microchannel absorber

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Fig. 2

Schematic of microchannel absorber

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Fig. 3

Test facility schematic

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Fig. 4

Test facility photograph

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Fig. 5

Schematic of solution flowing around a single tube

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Fig. 6

Absorber duty as a function of concentrated solution flow rate (all data points)

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Fig. 7

Absorber duty as a function of concentrated solution flow rate (48% case)

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Fig. 8

Segmental absorption rate as a function of concentrated solution flow rate

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Fig. 9

Solution heat transfer coefficient as a function of solution mass flux

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Fig. 10

Comparison of solution heat transfer coefficient with literature

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