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Technical Paper

Yield Mapping with Digital Aerial Color Infrared (CIR) Images

Yield potential was predicted and mapped for three corn fields in Central Illinois, using digital aerial color infrared images. Three methods, namely statistical (regression) modeling, genetic algorithm optimization and artificial neural networks, were used for developing yield models. Two image resolutions of 3 and 6 m/pixel were used for modeling. All the models were trained using July 31 image and tested using images from July 2 and August 31, all from 1998. Among the three models, artificial neural networks gave best performance, with a prediction error less than 30%. The statistical model resulted in prediction errors in the range of 23 to 54%. The lower resolution images resulted in better prediction accuracy compared to resolutions higher than or equal to the yield resolution. Images after pollination resulted in better accuracy compared to images before pollination.
Technical Paper

Visualization and Analysis of Periodic Reverse Flow in an Automobile Microchannel Evaporator

This paper presents the visualization of periodic reverse flow in tubes of an automobile microchannel evaporator. Two microchannel tubes in an off-the-shelf evaporator are modified so that the leading edges are transparent and the rest of the area remains unchanged, providing realistic air heating. Flow visualizations in air heated aluminum tubes and electric heating glass tube are compared and similar flow physics is identified. A mechanistic model of flow reversal is developed. The model is capable of simulating bubble generation, growth coalescence and reverse. The validation against experimental visualization is on the way.
Technical Paper

The Analysis of Phase Separation in Vertical Headers of Microchannel HEs

This paper presents the experimental analysis of separation in vertical headers based on flow visualization. Two-phase separation phenomena inside the header is observed and quantified. Driving forces are analyzed to study the mechanisms for two-phase flow motion and flow regimes. Main tube of the header is made of clear PVC for visualization study. R-134a is used as the fluid of interest and the mass flux from the inlet pass is 55 kg/m2s - 195 kg/m2s. Potential ways to improve two-phase separation are discussed. A model is built to show how separation brings potential benefits to MAC heat exchangers by arranging the flow path.
Technical Paper

Lubricant Effect on Performance of R134a MAC Microchannel Evaporators

This paper presents an experimental study of lubricant effect on the performance of microchannel evaporators in a typical MAC system. R134a is used as the refrigerant with PAG46 lubricant. The increase of oil circulation rate elevates the pressure drop of the evaporator. The specific enthalpy change in evaporator decreases with increasing oil circulation rate, while refrigerant distribution appears to be more uniform as indicated by infrared images of the evaporator surface temperatures. Thus mass flow rate increases.
Journal Article

Influence of Nozzle Divergent Part Length and Throat Diameter on Vortex Control of Initially Subcooled Flashing Flow

Expansion work recovery by two-phase ejector is known to be beneficial to vapor compression cycle performance. However, one of the biggest challenges with ejector vapor compression cycle is that the ejector cycle performance is sensitive to working condition changes which are common in many applications, including automotive AC systems. Different working conditions require different ejector geometries to achieve maximum performance. Slightly different geometries may result in substantially different COPs under the same conditions. Ejector motive nozzle throat diameter (motive nozzle restrictiveness) is one of the key parameters that can significantly affect COP. This paper presents the experimental investigation of a new motive nozzle restrictiveness control mechanism for two-phase ejectors used in vapor compression cycles, which has the advantages of being simple, potentially less costly and less vulnerable to clogging.
Journal Article

Experimentally Validated Model of Refrigerant Distribution in a Parallel Microchannel Evaporator

This paper develops a model for a parallel microchannel evaporator that incorporates quality variation at the tube inlets and variable mass flow rates among tubes. The flow distribution is based on the equal pressure drop along each flow path containing headers and tubes. The prediction of pressure drop, cooling capacity, and exit superheat strongly agree with 48 different experimental results obtained in four configurations using R134a. Predicted temperature profiles are very close to infrared images of actual evaporator surface. When compared to the uniform distribution model (that assumes uniform distribution of refrigerant mass flow rate and quality) results from the new model indicate superior prediction of cooling capacity, and exit superheat. Model results indicate maldistribution of refrigerant mass flow rate among the parallel tubes, caused primarily by pressure drop in the outlet header.
Technical Paper

Effect of Flow Regime in the Horizontal Inlet Header on Refrigerant-Oil Mixture Distribution in a MAC Microchannel Evaporator

The effect of lubricant on distribution is investigated by relating the flow regime in the horizontal inlet header and the corresponding infrared image of the evaporator. Visualization of the flow regime is performed by high-speed camera. R134a is used as the refrigerant with PAG 46 as lubricant, forming foam in all flow regimes. Quantitative information including foam location, foam layer thickness is obtained using a matlab-based video processing program. Oil circulation rate effect on flow regime is analyzed quantitatively.