Heat Transfer Characteristics of Liquid‐Driven Swirl Boiling Liquid/Gas Separator under Reduced Gravity Conference Paper uri icon


  • Under reduced gravity conditions, conventional gravity-assisted steam generators do not function properly and shear-driven or swirl type of devices must be used. Once-through boilers with special inserts such as twisted-tapes or swirl devices and rotating boilers have been previously studied. The once-through boiler requires a liquid-vapor phase separator due to the inability to vaporize all liquid completely to avoid burn-out. These devices also encounter instabilities due to the sudden formation or collapse of vapor. The rotating boiler requires a large power input to operate and has less reliability due to moving parts and dynamic seals at high temperature. A liquid-driven vortex boiling separator is categorized as a shear-driven boiler, but creates centripetal-driven buoyancy forces to form a gas-liquid vortex by injecting liquid tangentially along the inner wall of the cylinder rather than rotating the body itself. The vortex boiling separator eliminates the disadvantages of devices mentioned abovehaving a low pressure drop, no moving parts and generating dry vapor at its outlet. Texas A&M University carried out a reduced gravity flight experiment on the NASA C-9 aircraft to investigate the heat transfer characteristics and performance based on similar devices developed at Texas A&M. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Oinuma, R., Nguyen, N., Dickes, N., Kurwitz, R. C., & Best, F. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM


  • AIP  Publisher