Effect of Liquid/Vapour Maldistribution on the Performance of Plate Heat Exchanger Evaporators

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Plate heat exchangers are often applied as evaporators in industrial refrigeration and heat pump systems. In the design and modelling of such heat exchangers the flow and liquid/vapour distribution is often assumed to be ideal. However, maldistribution may occur and will cause each channel to behave differently due to the variation of the mass flux and vapour quality. To evaluate the effect of maldistribution on the performance of plate heat exchangers, a numerical model is developed in which the mass, momentum and energy balances are applied individually to each channel, including suitable correlations for heat transfer and pressure drop. The flow distribution on both the refrigerant and secondary side is determined based on equal pressure drop while the liquid/vapour distribution is imposed to the model. Results show that maldistribution may cause up to a 25 % reduction of the overall heat transfer coefficient, compared to a lumped model with uniform distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration
Number of pages8
PublisherInternational Institute of Refrigeration
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration: Improving Quality of Life, Preserving the Earth - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 16 Aug 201522 Aug 2015
Conference number: 24


Conference24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration

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