Flow boiling heat transfer characteristics of CO2 with and without oil were investigated experimentally in horizontal smooth and enhanced tubes with an inner diameter of 11.2 mm. The visualization of flow pattern provides a detailed attributes of the nucleate and the convective boiling heat transfer. In order to investigate the effect of the miscible oil on the heat transfer of CO2, POE (polyolester) RENSIO C85E oil is added to give an oil circulation rate (OCR) between 0.5% and 2%. Results are compared with those of pure CO2. The experimental conditions include evaporation temperatures of −15 °C, mass fluxes from 40 to 200 kg/m2 s, heat fluxes from 0.5 to 10 kW/m2, and vapor qualities from 0.1 to 0.8. Oil generally deteriorates the heat transfer coefficient of pure CO2. The reduction in heat transfer coefficient is most apparent at low vapor qualities, 0.1 to 0.4, and at low mass fluxes, 100 and 200 kg/m2. It is caused by the suppression of nucleate boiling due to increased surface tension. At conditions where the convective boiling contribution is dominant, vapor qualities above 0.5, oil increases heat transfer coefficients. Through visualization, it is shown that the wetted area on the perimeter of inner tube is enhanced due to formation of foaming in the smooth tube. However, such enhancement of heat transfer due to forming is negligible in the enhanced tube, because the enhanced factor due to micro-finned structures is dominant.

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