The vortex tube is a mechanical device with no moving parts that can separate a compressed gas into a hot and a cold stream. Pressurized gas is injected tangentially into a swirl chamber and accelerated to a high rate of rotation. This gas motion creates a cold core and a hot shell. In certain engineering applications such as gas drilling, the use of a high flow-rate air with high pressure and low temperature can improve process efficiency. In these applications, demand for the cold air stream as high as 40 kg/s is not uncommon. In this paper, the use of a vortex tube bundle for generating this large flow-rate of the cold air stream is proposed and evaluated, using numerical simulations. A single commercially available vortex tube can only produce a cold air stream up to 0.008 kg/s. Thus, it will take 5000 such vortex tubes to reach the required flow rate of 40 kg/s. Space limitation, as well as assembly difficulty, makes such an approach unrealistic. The objective of this work is to design a custom-made vortex tube so that a minimum number of such tubes can be used to meet the performance requirement posted by these applications. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to analyze the flow field, temperature field, and pressure field, and to optimize the vortex tube parameters so that a specific set of desired output can be achieved to meet the application requirements.

References

References
1.
Joseph
,
R. G.
,
1934
, “
Method and Apparatus for Obtaining From Alpha Fluid Under Pressure Two Currents of Fluids at Different Temperatures
,” Patent No.
US1952281A
.https://patents.google.com/patent/US1952281A/en
2.
Ranque
,
G.
,
1933
, “
Experiment on Expansion in a Vortex Tube With Simultaneous Expansion of Hot Air and Cold Air
,”
Le J. de Phys. et Le Radium (Paris)
,
4
.
3.
Hilsch
,
R.
,
1947
, “
The Use of the Expansion of Gases in a Centrifugal Field as Cooling Process
,”
Rev. Sci. Instrum.
,
18
(
2
), pp.
108
113
.
4.
Lianyou
,
D. Y. H. Y. X.
,
2004
, “
The Application OF Vortex Tube
,”
Gryogenics
,
1
, p.
010
.http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-DWGC200401010.htm
5.
Arora
,
R. C.
,
2012
,
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
,
PHI Learning
, New Delhi, India.
6.
Nellis
,
G. F.
, and
Klein
,
S.
,
2002
, “
The Application of Vortex Tubes to Refrigeration Cycles
,” International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, West Lafayette, IN, Paper No. 537.
7.
Wu
,
Y.
,
Ding
,
Y.
,
Ji
,
Y.
,
Ma
,
C.
, and
Ge
,
M.
,
2007
, “
Modification and Experimental Research on Vortex Tube
,”
Int. J. Refrig.
,
30
(
6
), pp.
1042
1049
.
8.
Ahlborn
,
B. K.
, and
Gordon
,
J. M.
,
2000
, “
The Vortex Tube as a Classic Thermodynamic Refrigeration Cycle
,”
J. Appl. Phys.
,
88
(
6
), pp.
3645
3653
.
9.
Johnson
,
P. W.
,
2000
, “
Gas Handling Device
,” Patent No. US2398089A.
10.
Fulton
,
C.
,
1950
, “
Ranque's Tube
,”
Refrig. Eng.
,
5
, pp.
473
479
.
11.
Van Deemter
,
J.
,
1952
, “
On the Theory of the Ranque-Hilsch Cooling Effect
,”
Appl. Sci. Res., Sect. A
,
3
(
3
), pp.
174
196
.
12.
Lay
,
J. E.
,
1959
, “
An Experimental and Analytical Study of Vortex Flow Temperature Separation by Superposition of Spiral and Axial Flows
,”
Trans. Heat Transfer
,
81
, pp.
202
212
.
13.
Stephan
,
K.
,
Lin
,
S.
,
Durst
,
M.
,
Huang
,
F.
, and
Seher
,
D.
,
1983
, “
An Investigation of Energy Separation in a Vortex Tube
,”
Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer
,
26
(
3
), pp.
341
348
.
14.
Deissler
,
R.
, and
Perlmutter
,
M.
,
1960
, “
Analysis of the Flow and Energy Separation in a Turbulent Vortex
,”
Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer
,
1
(
2–3
), pp.
173
191
.
15.
Stephan
,
K.
,
Lin
,
S.
,
Durst
,
M.
,
Huang
,
F.
, and
Seher
,
D.
,
1984
, “
A Similarity Relation for Energy Separation in a Vortex Tube
,”
Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer
,
27
(
6
), pp.
911
920
.
16.
Webster
,
D.
,
1950
, “
An Analysis of the Hilsch Vortex Tube
,”
Refrig. Eng.
,
58
(
2
), p.
163
.
17.
Kurosaka
,
M.
,
1982
, “
Acoustic Streaming in Swirling Flow and the Ranque—Hilsch (Vortex-Tube) Effect
,”
J. Fluid Mech.
,
124
(
1
), pp.
139
172
.
18.
Eckert
,
E.
,
1986
, “
Energy Separation in Fluid Streams
,”
Int. Commun. Heat Mass Transfer
,
13
(
2
), pp.
127
143
.
19.
Lin, W.
,
Ting, C.
,
Cuixia, S.
,
Hongwei, W.
,
Jian, Y.
, and
Zhongfang, M.
, 2006, “
Experimental Study on Boiling Heat Transfer and Resistance Characteristics of Micro Spiral Tube Evaporator
,” Ph.D thesis, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China.
20.
Aljuwayhel
,
N.
,
Nellis
,
G.
, and
Klein
,
S.
,
2005
, “
Parametric and Internal Study of the Vortex Tube Using a CFD Model
,”
Int. J. Refrig.
,
28
(
3
), pp.
442
450
.
21.
Bramo
,
A.
, and
Pourmahmoud
,
N.
,
2010
, “
A Numerical Study on the Effect of Length to Diameter Ratio and Stagnation Point on the Performance of Counter Flow Vortex Tube
,”
Aust. J. Basic Appl. Sci
,
4
(
10
), pp. 320–331.
22.
Bazgir
,
A.
, and
Nabhani
,
N.
,
2018
, “
Investigation of Temperature Separation Inside Various Models of Ranque–Hilsch Vortex Tube: Convergent, Straight, and Divergent With the Help of Computational Fluid Dynamic Approach
,”
ASME J. Therm. Sci. Eng. Appl.
,
10
(
5
), p.
051013
.
23.
Bazgir
,
A.
, and
Heydari
,
A.
, 2018, “
Energy Conversion (Efficiency) of Straight Counter-Flow Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube (RHVT) by Using Optimized Turbulence Model
,”
ACN International Conference
, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 58–66.
24.
Bazgir
,
A.
, 2017, “
Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube: A Numerical Study
,”
Second International Conference of Science and Engineering in the Technology Era
, Brussels, Belgium, pp. 89–104.
25.
Bazgir
,
A.
, 2017, “
Numerical Investigation of Flow Pattern Inside Different Counter-Flow Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube Refrigerators
,”
3rd International Conference on Innovation in Science and Technology
, Berlin, Germany.
26.
Bazgir
,
A.
, and
Nabhani
,
N.
,
2018
, “
Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Geometrical Parameters on the Vortex Separation Phenomenon Inside a Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube Used as an Air Separator in a Helicopter's Engine
,”
Aviation
,
22
(
1
), pp.
13
23
.
27.
Bazgir
,
A.
, 2017, “
Investigation of the Effects of Number of Nozzle Intakes on the Performance of Vortex Tube Refrigerators Base on CFD
,” 6th International Conference on Research in Engineering and Technology, London, June 2, pp. 16–29.
28.
Skye
,
H.
,
Nellis
,
G.
, and
Klein
,
S.
,
2006
, “
Comparison of CFD Analysis to Empirical Data in a Commercial Vortex Tube
,”
Int. J. Refrig.
,
29
(
1
), pp.
71
80
.
29.
Pourmahmoud
,
N.
,
Zadeh
,
H. A.
,
Moutaby
,
O.
, and
Bramo
,
A.
,
2012
, “
CFD Analysis of Helical Nozzles Effects on the Energy Separation in a Vortex Tube
,”
Therm. Sci.
,
16
(
1
), pp.
151
166
.
30.
Merkulov
,
A.
,
1969
,
Vortex Effect and Its Application in Engineering
,
Mashinostroenie
,
Moscow, Russia
, p.
184
.
You do not currently have access to this content.