Research Papers: Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

Experimental Investigation of Flow Condensation in Microgravity

[+] Author and Article Information
Issam Mudawar

e-mail: mudawar@ecn.purdue.edu
Boiling and Two-Phase Flow
Laboratory (BTPFL),
Mechanical Engineering Building,
585 Purdue Mall,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088

Mohammad M. Hasan

NASA Glenn Research Center,
21000 Brookpark Road,
Cleveland, OH 44135

Jeffrey R. Mackey

Vantage Partners,
LLC 3000 Aerospace Parkway,
Brook Park, OH 44142

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received April 3, 2013; final manuscript received August 23, 2013; published online November 12, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Sujoy Kumar Saha.This material is declared a work of the US Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Heat Transfer 136(2), 021502 (Nov 12, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-13-1181; doi: 10.1115/1.4025683 History: Received April 03, 2013; Revised August 23, 2013

Future manned space missions are expected to greatly increase the space vehicle's size, weight, and heat dissipation requirements. An effective means to reducing both size and weight is to replace single-phase thermal management systems with two-phase counterparts that capitalize upon both latent and sensible heat of the coolant rather than sensible heat alone. This shift is expected to yield orders of magnitude enhancements in flow boiling and condensation heat transfer coefficients. A major challenge to this shift is a lack of reliable tools for accurate prediction of two-phase pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient in reduced gravity. Developing such tools will require a sophisticated experimental facility to enable investigators to perform both flow boiling and condensation experiments in microgravity in pursuit of reliable databases. This study will discuss the development of the Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) for the International Space Station (ISS), which was initiated in 2012 in collaboration between Purdue University and NASA Glenn Research Center. This facility was recently tested in parabolic flight to acquire condensation data for FC-72 in microgravity, aided by high-speed video analysis of interfacial structure of the condensation film. The condensation is achieved by rejecting heat to a counter flow of water, and experiments were performed at different mass velocities of FC-72 and water and different FC-72 inlet qualities. It is shown that the film flow varies from smooth-laminar to wavy-laminar and ultimately turbulent with increasing FC-72 mass velocity. The heat transfer coefficient is highest near the inlet of the condensation tube, where the film is thinnest, and decreases monotonically along the tube, except for high FC-72 mass velocities, where the heat transfer coefficient is enhanced downstream. This enhancement is attributed to both turbulence and increased interfacial waviness. One-ge correlations are shown to predict the average condensation heat transfer coefficient with varying degrees of success, and a recent correlation is identified for its superior predictive capability, evidenced by a mean absolute error of 21.7%.

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Fig. 1

Examples of systems demanding predictive models of the effects of gravity on two-phase flow and heat transfer

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Fig. 2

Construction of condensation module CM-HT for heat transfer measurements: (a) cross-sectional diagram, (b) longitudinal sectional diagram, and (c) parts and assembly

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Fig. 3

Construction of condensation module CM-FV for flow visualization: (a) cross-sectional diagram, (b) longitudinal sectional diagram, and (c) parts and assembly

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Fig. 4

(a) Schematic of flow loop. (b) Photo of three rigs of test facility

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Fig. 5

Local heat transfer coefficient at z = 310 mm and gravity profile

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Fig. 6

Images of condensation film on outer surface of central stainless steel tube of CM-FV in microgravity for (a) three FC-72 mass velocities at nearly constant water flow rate, and (b) three water flow rates at nearly constant FC-72 flow rate. The images are 40-mm long and centered at z = 5.8 cm from the inlet of the condensation length

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Fig. 7

Variation of experimentally determined local condensation heat transfer coefficient with thermodynamic equilibrium quality of FC-72 for different FC-72 mass velocities and water mass velocities of (a) Gw = 161.8-174.4 kg/m2s and (b) Gw = 281.3-287.5 kg/m2s

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Fig. 8

Variation of experimentally determined average condensation heat transfer coefficient with water mass velocity for different FC-72 mass velocities

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Fig. 9

Comparison of experimentally determined average condensation heat transfer coefficient with predictions of condensation heat transfer correlations




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