Although HFC-134a is a common refrigerant for residential and mobile refrigeration systems, investigators are dealing with replacing it with new alternatives because of its harmful environmental and global warming effects. Recently HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze have been introduced as suitable alternative refrigerants because they have zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP) and possess thermophysical properties similar to those of HFC-134a. Because there is no experimental data on the performance of these new refrigerants in capillary tubes and short-tube orifices, a recently developed numerical model for analysis of critical two-phase flow through these tubes is used to predict the critical mass flow rate and pressure distribution of HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze under various operating conditions. The applied numerical model is based on a comprehensive two-fluid model including the effects of two-phase flow patterns and liquid-phase metastability. The numerical method has been validated by comparing numerical results of the critical flows of HFC-134a, R-410A, and HCFC-22 with available experimental data. The developed numerical simulation is applied in order to develop comparison and selection charts for short-tube orifices based on the common refrigerant HFC-134a and the alternative new refrigerants HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze.

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