Heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of condensation for R410A inside horizontal tubes (dh = 3.78 mm) under normal and micro gravity are investigated numerically. The Volume of Fluid method is used to acquire liquid-vapor interface, while the low-Reynolds form of the Shear Stress Transport k∼ω (SST k∼ω) model is adopted to taking turbulent effect into account. The results indicate that the heat transfer coefficients decrease with increasing gravity accelerations, while the frictional pressure gradients increase with increases in gravity accelerations. The liquid film accumulates at the bottom of the tube, leading to a very thin liquid film attached to the upper part of inner tube wall. This accumulation effect decreases with decreases in gravitational accelerations. A more symmetrical liquid-vapor interface is obtained at lower gravity. The average liquid film thickness is nearly the same for different gravity accelerations at the same vapor quality (δave≈56 μm at x = 0.9 and δave≈230 μm at x = 0.5). The local heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing gravity at the top of the tube and decrease with increases in gravity at the bottom, while the bottom part of the tube has a limited contribution to the global heat transfer coefficient for stratified flow regime. The numerical data obtained under normal gravity agree well with well-known empirical correlations.

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