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Open AccessArticle

Frosting Performance of a Nanoporous Hydrophilic Aluminum Surface

1
School of Civil and Transportation Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
School of Materials and Energy, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
School of Engineering, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(12), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123483
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
As an efficient energy-saving piece of equipment, an air-source heat pump can not only reduce the energy consumption required for heating, but can also reduce the pollution from fossil consumption. However, when an air-source heat pump operates under low temperatures and high humidity, the heat exchanger surface of its outdoor evaporator often get covered with frost. The growth of the frost layer seriously affects the operation efficiency of the equipment and limits its engineering application. Looking for materials that can actively inhibit frost forming is a good strategy to solve the problem mentioned above. Numerous studies show that a hydrophilic surface (contact angle less than 90°) can inhibit the normal freezing process. Manufacturing nanostructures on the surface also affect frosting performance. In this paper, nanoporous hydrophilic aluminum sheets, with contact angles of 47.8° (Sample 2), 35.9° (Sample 3), and 22.9° (Sample 4), respectively, were fabricated by the anodic oxidation method. The frosting performance of the nanoporous hydrophilic aluminum was studied compared with polished aluminum, with a contact angle of 60.2° (Sample 1). The frosting performance of the aluminum surface was systematically studied by observing the frost structure from top and side cameras and measuring the frost thickness, frost mass, and frosting rate. It was found that nanoporous hydrophilic aluminum can reduce the frost thickness and frost mass. The frost mass reduction rate of sample 2 reached a maximum of 65.9% at the surface temperature of −15 °C, under test conditions. When the surface temperature was −15 °C, the frosting rate of Sample 2 was 1.71 g/(m2·min), which was about one-third of that on sample 1 (polished aluminum). Nanoporous hydrophilic aluminum behaved better at lessening frost than polished aluminum, which revealed that manufacturing nanopores and promoting hydrophilicity can delay the formation of frost. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoporous aluminum; hydrophilic; frosting delay; energy saving nanoporous aluminum; hydrophilic; frosting delay; energy saving
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, W.; Zeng, B.; Zhang, Y.; He, S.; Zhao, X. Frosting Performance of a Nanoporous Hydrophilic Aluminum Surface. Energies 2018, 11, 3483.

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