This paper reports the development of an experimentally validated model for pressure drop during intermittent flow of condensing refrigerant R134a in horizontal microchannels. Two-phase pressure drops were measured in five circular channels ranging in hydraulic diameter from 0.5 mm to 4.91 mm. For each tube under consideration, pressure drop measurements were first taken over the entire range of qualities from 100% vapor to 100% liquid. In addition, the tests for each tube were conducted for five different refrigerant mass fluxes between 150 kg/m2-s and 750 kg/m2-s. Results from previous work by the authors on condensation flow mechanisms in microchannel geometries were then used to identify data that corresponded to the intermittent flow regime. A pressure drop model was developed for a unit cell in the channel based on the observed slug/bubble flow pattern for these conditions. The unit cell comprises a liquid slug followed by a vapor bubble that is surrounded by a thin, annular liquid film. Contributions of the liquid slug, the vapor bubble, and the flow of liquid between the film and slug to the pressure drop were included. Empirical data from the literature for the relative length and velocity of the slugs and bubbles, and relationships from the literature for the pressure loss associated with the mixing that occurs between the slug and film were used with assumptions about individual phase friction factors, to estimate the total pressure drop in each unit cell. A simple correlation for non-dimensional unit-cell length based on slug Reynolds number was then used to estimate the total pressure drop. The results from this model were on average within ±13.4% of the measured data, with 88% of the predicted results within ±25% of the 77 measured data points.
An Experimentally Validated Model for Two-Phase Pressure Drop in the Intermittent Flow Regime for Circular Microchannels
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division January 26, 2001; revised manuscript received September 12, 2001. Associate Editor: A. K. Prasad.
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Garimella, S., Killion , J. D., and Coleman, J. W. (September 12, 2001). "An Experimentally Validated Model for Two-Phase Pressure Drop in the Intermittent Flow Regime for Circular Microchannels ." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. March 2002; 124(1): 205–214. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1428327
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