When air or other gases flow through the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, the well known temperature separation effect can be produced. This effect has been utilized for many purposes and is especially useful in providing cooling in applications not requiring the higher efficiencies of more sophisticated refrigeration systems. When the inlet fluid to the tube becomes a mixture of saturated liquid and vapor, one intuitively expects the temperature separation to diminish. Experimental data were obtained using propane to quantitatively determine the deterioration of temperature separation when the condition of the inlet fluid becomes a saturated mixture. Observations indicate that temperature separation diminishes rapidly for inlet qualities of less than 80 percent due largely to the decrease in “hot side” temperature. For qualities above 80 percent, significant temperature separation can be maintained.

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