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Energies 2017, 10(9), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10091280

Experimental Investigation of the Condensation Heat Transfer Coefficient of R134a inside Horizontal Smooth and Micro-Fin Tubes

Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093, China
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Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract

The condensation heat transfer coefficient of R134a was experimentally studied inside two smooth and four micro-fin tubes. The working conditions and structural parameters of the test tubes were selected as the influencing factors, and the experiment was conducted under mass velocities of 400–1100 kg·m−2·s−1, condensation temperatures of 35–45 °C and water-testing Reynolds numbers of 8000–22,000, with an inlet superheat of 1–2 °C and outlet subcooling of 1–2 °C at the test section for the refrigerant. Experimental results indicate that the heat transfer coefficient increases with increasing mass velocity and decreasing condensation temperature and water-testing Reynolds number. The heat transfer coefficient of the micro-fin tube with a helix angle of 28° is the highest and that of smooth tube is the lowest for test tubes with the same inner diameter. Tube diameter has a small influence on the heat transfer coefficient for the smooth tubes while the heat transfer coefficient increases with decreasing tube diameter for the micro-fin tubes. The heat transfer coefficient inside the test tube was compared with some well-known existing correlations, and results show that correlations by Cavallini et al., Thome et al., Shah and Akers et al. can estimate the experimental data with mean absolute deviation of less than 30%, and correlations of Dobson and Chato et al. and Jung et al. cannot be used to capture the heat transfer coefficient with mean absolute deviations of 140.18% and 146.23%, respectively. While the Miyara et al. correlation overestimates the heat transfer coefficient, correlations of Cavallini et al., Koyama et al. and Oliver et al. all underestimate the experimental data for the micro-fin tube. Their deviations are from 25 to 55% for micro-fin tubes 3 and 4, while their deviations keep to within 30% for micro-fin tubes 5 and 6. Finally, to improve the correlation prediction accuracy, a dimensionless parameter was introduced to the correlations of Dobson and Chato et al. and Jung et al., and correlations of Cavallini et al., Koyama et al. and Oliver et al. were modified by enhancing the turbulence effect. The prediction accuracy of all modified correlations can be controlled to within 30%. View Full-Text
Keywords: condensation; heat transfer coefficient; correlation; dimensionless parameter; turbulence effect condensation; heat transfer coefficient; correlation; dimensionless parameter; turbulence effect
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Li, Q.; Tao, L.; Li, L.; Hu, Y.; Wu, S. Experimental Investigation of the Condensation Heat Transfer Coefficient of R134a inside Horizontal Smooth and Micro-Fin Tubes. Energies 2017, 10, 1280.

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