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Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Two-Phase Flow in the Second Header of MAC Condenser

Phase separation circuiting have been proved in the past to effectively improve the performance of mobile air conditioning (MAC) condensers. In the vertical second header of the condenser, liquid separates from vapor mainly due to gravity, leaving vapor-rich flow with higher heat transfer coefficient to go into the upper passes. The condenser effectiveness is improved in this way. However, separation is usually not perfect, expressed through the separation efficiency (ηl and ηv). This paper presents the numerical study of phase separation phenomena in the second header. The Euler-Euler method of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used. Simulations are conducted for two-phase refrigerant R-134a for MAC application. Inlet mass flow rate is simulated at values of 16 g∙s-1, 20 g∙s-1, and 30 g∙s-1 for 21 inlet microchannel tubes, which is the same 1st-pass tube number as of a real separation condenser. Corresponding mass fluxes are 166 kg∙m-2∙s-1, 207 kg∙m-2∙s-1, and 311 kg∙m-2∙s-1.