The complexities of two-phase flow and evaporation on a tube bundle present important problems in the design of heat exchangers and the understanding of the physical phenomena taking place. The development of structured surfaces to enhance boiling heat transfer and thus reduce the size of evaporators adds another level of complexity to the modelling of such heat exchangers. Horizontal falling film evaporators have the potential to be widely used in large refrigeration systems and heat pumps, in the petrochemical industry and for sea water desalination units, but there is a need to improve the understanding of falling film evaporation mechanisms to provide accurate thermal design methods. The characterization of the effect of enhanced surfaces on the boiling phenomena occurring in falling film evaporators is thus expected to increase and optimize the performance of a tube bundle.
In this work, the existing LTCM falling film facility was modified and instrumented to perform falling film evaporation measurements on single tube row and a small tube bundle. Four types of tubes were tested including: a plain tube, an enhanced condensing tube (Gewa-C+LW) and two enhanced boiling tubes (Turbo-EDE2 and Gewa-B4) to extend the existing database. The current investigation includes results for two refrigerants, R134a and R236fa, at a saturation temperature of Tsat= 5◦C, liquid film Reynolds numbers ranging from 0 to 3000, at heat fluxes between 20 and 60 kW/m2 in pool boiling and falling film configurations. Measurements of the local heat transfer coefficient were obtained and utilized to improve the current prediction methods. Finally, the understanding of the physical phenomena governing the falling film evaporation of liquid refrigerants has been improved. Furthermore, a method for predicting the onset of dry patch formation has been developed and a local heat transfer prediction method for falling film evaporation based on a large experimental database has been proposed. These represent significant improvements for the design of falling film evaporators.
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