Two-phase flow distribution inside evaporator headers has been a challenging problem for a long time and having a robust predictive tool could substantially alleviate the costs associated with experimentation with different concepts and configurations. The use of a two-phase CFD model to predict flow distribution inside the header and at the discharge ports is demonstrated in this paper. The numerical domain is comprised of an inlet pipe and a distributor tube representing the header with a series of discharge ports. The flow distribution was initially verified using an air–water experiment, where the two-phase modeling approach, mesh requirements, and discretization schemes were defined. Next, the model was used to predict distribution of R134a in a typical heat exchanger distributor. The flow distribution across the discharge ports was provided to a discretized correlation-based heat exchanger model to predict the temperature and quality distribution along the length of the heat exchanger. The resultant temperature distribution is validated against IR imaging results for various operating conditions and header orientations.

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