Research Papers: Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

A New Approach to Delay or Prevent Frost Formation in Membranes

[+] Author and Article Information
Pooya Navid

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Dr,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: pon138@mail.usask.ca

Shirin Niroomand

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Dr,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: nan846@mail.usask.ca

Carey J. Simonson

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Dr,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: Carey.Simonson@usask.ca

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received March 2, 2018; final manuscript received September 15, 2018; published online November 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zhixiong Guo.

J. Heat Transfer 141(1), 011503 (Nov 16, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1122; doi: 10.1115/1.4041557 History: Received March 02, 2018; Revised September 15, 2018

Saturation of the water vapor is essential to form frost inside a permeable membrane. The main goal of this paper is to develop a numerical model that can predict temperature and humidity inside a membrane in order to show the location and time of saturation. This numerical model for heat and mass transfer is developed to show that frost formation may be prevented or delayed by controlling the moisture transfer through the membrane, which is the new approach in this paper. The idea is to simultaneously dry and cool air to avoid saturation conditions and thereby eliminate condensation and frosting in the membrane. Results show that saturation usually occurs on side of the membrane with the highest temperature and humidity. The numerical model is verified with experimental data and used to show that moisture transfer through the membrane can delay or prevent frost formation.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the problem of heat and moisture transfer through a membrane separating air and liquid desiccant

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the experimental facility used to detect the onset of frost on a vapor permeable membrane or impermeable plate

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Fig. 3

Predicted transient temperature on the top x=L and bottom (x=0) surfaces and the middle (x=1/2) of the membrane as a function of time for (a) TLD=−10 °C and (b) TLD=−15 °C

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Fig. 4

Temperature profile within the membrane for TLD=−15 °C at (a) different time and (b) steady-state condition

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Fig. 5

Comparison between numerical and experimental temperature of the top surface of the membrane under steady-state conditions when RHAIR=12%. The error bars indicate the 95% uncertainty bounds in the measured temperature.

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Fig. 6

Predicted humidity inside the permeable membrane as a function of time when TLD=−15 °C and RHAIR=12%

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Fig. 7

Predicted humidity on the top surface of the permeable membrane and impermeable membrane as a function of time for TLD=−15 °C: (a) RHAIR=20% and (b) RHAIR=12%

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Fig. 8

Humidity ratio change as a function of time and location within the membrane for TLD=−15 °C and RHAIR=12%

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Fig. 9

Simulated relative humidity on the top surface of the permeable membrane as a function of the liquid desiccant temperature at steady-state when RHAIR=12%. Pictures of the top surface of the permeable membrane are presented for TLD=−17 °C and TLD=−16 °C. (There is white layer of frost on the permeable membrane when TLD=−17 °C.)

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Fig. 10

Simulated relative humidity on the top surface of the impermeable plate as a function of the liquid desiccant temperature at steady-state when RHAIR=12%. Pictures of the top surface of the impermeable plate are presented for TLD=−15 °C and TLD=−14 °C. (The white spots in the images are frost crystals and are present for TLD=−15 °C but are absent for TLD=−14 °C.)

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Fig. 11

Simulated relative humidity on the top surface of the membrane as a function of air relative humidity for steady-state conditions when TLD=−15 °C. Picture of the top surface of the membrane is presented for TLD=−15 °C and RHAIR=12%. (The white points on the impermeable plate are frost crystals, meanwhile there is not any frost on the permeable membrane.)

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Fig. 12

Impact of dimensionless coefficients on dimensionless saturation time when TLD=−15 °C and RHAIR=20% for different dimensionless, (a) heat capacity, density, moisture content, and diffusion coefficient (b) thermal conductivity, and thickness of the membrane.



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