The Use of a Nano- and Microporous Surface Layer to Enhance Boiling in a Plate Heat Exchanger

  • Furberg R
  • Palm B
  • Li S
 et al. 
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Presented research is an experimental study of the performance of a standard plate heat exchanger evaporator, both with and without a novel nano- and microporous copper structure, used to enhance the boiling heat transfer mechanism in the refrigerant channel. Various distance frames in the refrigerant channel were also employed to study the influence of the refrigerant mass flux on two-phase flow heat transfer. The tests were conducted at heat fluxes ranging between 4.5 kW/m2 and 17 kW/m2 with 134a as refrigerant. Pool boiling tests of the enhancement structure, under similar conditions and at various surface inclination angles, were also performed for reasons of comparison. The plate heat exchanger with the enhancement structure displayed up to ten times enhanced heat transfer coefficient in the refrigerant channel, resulting in an improvement in the overall heat transfer coefficient with over 100%. This significant boiling enhancement is in agreement with previous pool boiling experiments and confirms that the enhancement structure may be used to enhance the performance of plate heat exchangers. A simple superposition model was used to evaluate the results, and it was found that, primarily, the convective boiling mechanism was affected by the distance frames in the standard heat exchanger. On the other hand, with the enhanced boiling structure, variations in hydraulic diameter in the refrigerant channel caused a significant change in the nucleate boiling mechanism, which accounted for the largest effect on the heat transfer performance.

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  • Richard Furberg

  • Björn Palm

  • Shanghua Li

  • Muhammet Toprak

  • Mamoun Muhammed

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