Heat Transfer and Visualization of Falling Film Evaporation on a Tube Bundle

Horizontal falling film evaporators have the potential of displacing flooded evaporators in industry, due to advantages such as lower required refrigerant charge and lower pressure drop. However, there is a need to improve the understanding of falling film evaporation mechanisms to provide accurate thermal design methods. In this work, the existing LTCM falling film facility was utilized to perform falling film evaporation measurements on a single tube, a vertical row of horizontal tubes and a small tube bundle. Two enhanced boiling tubes, namely the Wolverine Turbo-B5 and the Wieland Gewa-B5, were tested using R-134a and R-236fa. The tests were carried out at a constant saturation temperature of Tsat = 5°C, liquid film Reynolds numbers ranging from 0 to 3000, and heat fluxes between 15 and 90 kW/m2 in pool boiling and falling film configurations. A visualization study was performed under adiabatic and diabatic conditions (in both single-array and bundle configurations) to study the flow. The physical phenomena governing the falling film evaporation process have been studied, and insight into their effects on the performance of tube bundles has been gained. Measurements of the local heat transfer coefficient were obtained and utilized to generate new prediction methods, including a method for predicting the onset-of-dryout film flow rate during falling film evaporation, local pool boiling and falling film heat transfer prediction methods and a falling film multiplier prediction method.


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