Comparison of the heat transfer and pressure drop performance of R-134a-lubricant mixtures in different diameter smooth tubes and micro-fin tubes
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The average heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops during evaporation and condensation are reported for mixtures of R-134a and an ester lubricant in tubes of 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) outer diameter. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the performance of the R-134a-lubricant mixtures in these tubes and determine the performance benefits of the micro-fin tube. The performance benefits of the tubes with 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) outer diameter are compared to those of smaller tubes with 9.52 mm (3/8 in.) outer diameter. The lubricant used was a 169 SUS penta erythritol ester mixed-acid lubricant. The lubricant concentration was varied from 0% to 5.1% in the mixture. The average heat transfer coefficients in the 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) micro-fin tube were 50% to 150% higher than those for the 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) smooth tube, while pressure drops in the micro-fin tube were 5% to 50% higher than in the smooth tube. The addition of lubricant degraded the average heat transfer coefficients in all cases except during evaporation at low lubricant concentrations. Pressure drops were always increased with the addition of lubricant. The experimental results also indicate that tube diameter has some effect on the performance benefits of the micro-fin tube over that of the smooth tube.
author list (cited authors)
Eckels, S. J., Doerr, T. M., & Pate, M. B.