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A Novel Approach to Study the Performance of Finned-Tube Heat Exchangers under Frosting Conditions

Author(s): A.L. Bendaoud | M. Ouzzane | Z. Aidoun | N. Galanis

Journal: Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics
ISSN 1735-3572

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Modeling | Two-phase | Frost | Coil | Mass transfer | Heat transfer | Circuiting | CO2

Frost accumulation due to moist air flowing on a refrigeration coil cold surface impacts negatively on performance. The frost layer growth has an insulating effect in terms of heat transfer and causes the increase of the air pressure drop by blocking the free flow area across the coil. In this paper a new modeling approach, accounting for heat and mass transfer as well as the hydrodynamics of the problem, is proposed. A related FORTRAN program was developed, allowing the study of a large range of complex refrigerant circuit configurations. This model predicts the dynamic behavior of a refrigeration coil under dry and frosting conditions. Comparaisons were made based on the frost mass accumulation and pressure drop across the coil and the results were found to agree reasonably well with experimental results reported in the literature. The model was then applied to study an evaporator typically employed in supermarkets. In terms of refrigerant temperature glide, it was shown that the glide decrease with time because of the decrease of the refrigeration capacity of the coil during the frosting. Further, the air pressure drop is strongly affected by the variation of the free flow area.
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