Papers presented to the 11th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, South Africa, 20-23 July 2015.
The paper presents the phenomenon of periodically reversing
flow in a microchannel evaporators used in air conditioning
systems which will be illustrated with high speed videos in the
presentation. These evaporators have multiple parallel channels
between 0.5 and 1mm and headers (manifolds) that have to
accommodate tubes of typically 15 to 25 mm major (width).
A simultaneous flow visualizations and pressure measurements
confirmed the periodic flow reversal and associated fluctuations.
The oscillatory behavior of the flow is linked and related with
oscillations of the evaporator pressure in the inlet header and the
pressure drop. Visualization of the flow in headers and tubes will
Paper will present experiments that have revealed significant
ratio of reversed vapor flow – in the range of 3-7% of the mail
flow, in addition to liquid that is reversed alongside.
The magnitude and frequency of oscillations are directly
proportional to heat flux.
Three potential impacts of flow reversal on evaporator
performance are discussed: 1) moderate liquid maldistribution;
2) reduced heat transfer; 3) increased refrigerant side pressure
Finally, to mitigate impacts of periodic reverse flow, a
solution is proposed: to vent and bypass backflow vapor
accumulated in the inlet header.