Experimental Investigation of Droplet Dynamics and Spray Atomization inside Thermostatic Expansion Valves
In this paper, experimental investigation on spray atomization and droplet dynamics inside a thermostatic expansion valve (TXV), a component commonly used in vehicle refrigeration system, was conducted. A needle and an orifice were copied from a commercial TXV and machined to be mounted inside a chamber with optical access so that the flow inside the TXV is simulated and visualized at the same time. The break-up and atomization of the refrigerant were documented near the downstream of the orifice under different feed conditions for two TXV with different geometry. A Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) system was used later to measure the size and velocity of atomized refrigerant droplets. The results showed that the droplet size variation along the radial direction is slightly decreased at near downstream and increased at farther downstream due to the coalescence.