With the current ozone depletion and global warming issues, it is critical to develop systems with better heat transfer performance and nontoxic refrigerants. An experimental investigation was performed to evaluate convective condensation and evaporation heat transfer characteristics using R410A at low mass fluxes. Experiments were conducted in a 12.0-mm O.D. horizontal smooth tube, and three enhanced tubes: 2EHT1 tube, 2EHT2 tube and 1EHT1 tube (O.D. 12.7 mm), with different sizes and shapes of dimple/protrusion and petal arrays.

Refrigerant inlet quality varied in this study. Single phase experiment was conducted before the two-phase flow measurement. In-tube evaporation measurements of R410A were reported for saturation temperature at 6°C with vapor quality in the range of 0.2 to 0.9, and mass flux varied from 60 to 200 kg/m2s. Condensation tests were performed at saturation temperature of 45°C, vapor quality of 0.9 to 0.2, and mass flux of 60 to 260 kg/m2s.

For evaporation with mass flux less than 200 kg/m2s, heat transfer coefficient of the 2EHT2 tube, 2EHT1 tube and 1EHT1 tube were greater than the experimental HTC (heat transfer coefficient) of smooth tube results by an average factor of 1.71, 1.69 and 1.87, respectively. Pressure drop in the 2EHT2 tube was 5% higher than the 2EHT1 tube and 1EHT1 tube. For condensation, when mass flux was less than 200 kg/m2s, the 1EHT1 tube showed obvious enhancement in heat transfer coefficient, while the pressure drop in the 1EHT1 tube was slightly 3–5% higher than that of the 2EHT1 tube and the 2EHT2 tube. In conclusion, for mass flux below 200 kg/m2s, the 1EHT1 tube presented the best heat transfer performance among others with R410A as the refrigerant.

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