Entropy generation analysis of a microchannel-condenser for use in a vapor compression refrigeration cycle

Turkakar G., Okutucu-Ozyurt T. , Kandlikar S. G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REFRIGERATION-REVUE INTERNATIONALE DU FROID, vol.70, pp.71-83, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2016.06.028
  • Page Numbers: pp.71-83
  • Keywords: Microchannel-condenser, Miniature vapor compression, refrigeration cycle, Two-phase/multiphase flow, Electronics cooling, Entropy generation number, HEAT-EXCHANGERS, PRESSURE-DROP, 2-PHASE FLOW, TUBE, OPTIMIZATION, MINIMIZATION


Dimensionless entropy generation number in the microchannel condenser of a vapor compression refrigeration cycle is investigated. An air cooled, brazed aluminum parallel flow heat exchanger is considered as the condenser with R-134a as the refrigerant. While the effects of the fin pitch, fin height, louver angle and the air mass flow rate are investigated for the air side, the effect of the channel diameter is examined for the refrigerant side. The analysis is performed segment by segment for the superheated, two phase and subcooled regions using well-established empirical correlations. A mapping study is presented for the variation of entropy generation number with the mentioned parameters. The optimum air mass flow rate interval is found to be between 0.055 and 0.1kgs(-1) for a given fin pitch interval of 1-1.6 mm. This range is within the operating limits of air fans in the market for this size. In this operating range, the optimal dimensions giving the minimum entropy generation numbers are presented. The entropy generation number distribution is given based on the pressure drop, heat transfer or the refrigerant state in the heat exchanger considering superheated, two phase, and subcooled regions. The entropy generation number due to pressure drop on the air side becomes dominant after a mass flow rate around 0.08kgs(-1). Hence, an optimum air mass flow rate generating the minimum entropy generation number is sought for different sizes of the condenser. The condenser length is variable in the range of 84.3-80.6 mm for the mentioned optimal air mass flow rate interval. The condenser height changes depending on desired operational conditions, and it is determined to be 112.5 mm for the fixed values given in the study. The study is unique in the literature in pursuing an entropy generation number mapping study for microchannel two-phase flow in air cooled heat exchangers. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.