In designing a Joule-Thomson microcooler, aiming for a compact size yet maintaining good performance, it is important to find the optimum dimensions of its heat exchanger. We have developed a model capable of predicting the performance characteristics of a wiretype Joule-Thomson microcooler utilizing analytical methods and incorporating changing gas properties via gas equations of state. The model combined the heat exchanger and the JT expander, thus requiring only the inlet gas properties as input. The model results were compared to experimental measurements using C2H4 and N2O as coolant gases. Predicted mass flow rate and temperature drop were in good agreement with the measured values. The long capillary length present in the tested microcooler was revealed to maintain performance of the microcooler for longer heat exchanger lengths due to it functioning as a secondary heat exchanger. Using the calculation results it was possible to correctly estimate the optimum heat exchanger length for C2H4 and for N2O.

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