The complexity of the two-phase flow in a tube bundle presents important problems in the design and understanding of the physical phenomena taking place. The working conditions of an evaporator depend largely on the dynamics of the two-phase flow that in turn influence the heat exchange and the pressure drop of the system. A characterization of the flow dynamics, and possibly the identification of the flow pattern in the tube bundle, in thus expected to lead to a better understanding of the phenomena and to reveal on the mechanisms governing the tube bundle. Therefore, the present study aims at providing further insights into two-phase bundle flow through a new visualization system able to provide for the first time a view of the flow in the core of a tube bundle. In addition, the measurement of the light attenuation of a laser beam through the two-phase flow and measurement of the high frequency pressure fluctuations with a piezo-electric pressure transducer are used to characterize the flow.
The design and the validation of this new instrumentation also provided a method for the detection of dry-out in tube bundles. This was achieved by a laser attenuation technique, flow visualization, and estimation of the power spectrum of the pressure fluctuation. The current investigation includes results for two different refrigerants, R134a and R236fa, three saturations temperatures Tsat=5,10 and 15 ◦C, mass velocities ranging from 4 to 40 kg/sm2 in adiabatic and diabatic conditions (several heat fluxes). Measurement of the local heat transfer coefficient and two-phase frictional pressure drop were obtained and utilized to improve the current prediction methods. The heat transfer and pressure drop data were supported by extensive characterization of the two-phase flow, which was to improve the understanding of the two-phase flow occurring in tube bundles.
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