Heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops for R-134a and an ester lubricant mixture in a smooth tube and a micro-fin tube Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper reports average heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops during the evaporation and condensation of mixtures of R-134a and a 150 SUS penta erythritol ester branched-acid lubricant. The smooth tube and micro-fin tube tested in this study had outer diameters of 9.52 mm (3/8 in.). The micro-fin tube had 60 fins, a fin height of 0.2 mm (0.008 in), and a spiral angle of 18. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the micro-fin tube with R-134a and to determine the effect of circulating lubricant. The experimental results show that the micro-fin tube has distinct performance advantages over the smooth tube. For example, the average heat transfer coefficients during evaporation and condensation in the micro-fin tube were 50% to 200% higher than those for the smooth tube, while the average pressure drops were on average only 10% to 50% higher. The experimental results indicate that the presence of a lubricant degrades the average heat transfer coefficients during both evaporation and condensation at high lubricant concentrations. Pressure drops during evaporation increased with the addition of a lubricant in both tubes. For condensation, pressure drops were unaffected by the addition of a lubricant.

published proceedings

  • ASHRAE Transactions

author list (cited authors)

  • Eckels, S. J., Doerr, T. M., & Pate, M. B.

complete list of authors

  • Eckels, SJ||Doerr, TM||Pate, MB

publication date

  • January 1998