An experimental study of co-flow ammonia-water desorption in an oil-heated, microscale, fractal-like branching heat exchanger Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ft848t55d

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  • An experimental study was performed in which an ammonia-water solution was desorbed within a branching fractal-like microchannel array. The solution entered in the center of a disk, and flowed out radially until discharging in to a gravity-driven separation chamber. Heat was added to the ammonia-water through a thin wall, above which flowed heat transfer oil in a separate branching fractal-like microchannel array. Such arrays have been shown to utilize the increased heat transfer coefficients seen in parallel channel arrays; however, they do so with a lower pressure drop. An experimental flow loop consisting of ammonia-water and heat transfer oil sub-loops was instrumented along with a test manifold for global measurements to be taken. Temperature, pressure, density and mass flow rate measurements permitted calculation of desorption and heat transfer characteristics. Parameters included oil mass flow rate, oil inlet temperature, and strong solution flow rate, while strong solution concentration, temperature, and weak solution pressure were kept constant. The desorber was assumed to achieve equilibrium conditions between the vapor and weak solution in the separation chamber. The exit plenum was large and acted as a flash chamber, making the assumption reasonable. The vapor mass fraction was determined from knowledge of the weak solution saturation temperature. Heat exchanger analyses (LMTD and ε-NTU) were done to determine the heat transfer characteristics of the desorber. Calculated values of UA are shown to be as high as 5.0 W/K, and desorber heat duties were measured as high as 334 W. Strong solution, at 0.30 mass fraction, was desorbed into weak solution and vapor with concentrations ranging from 0.734 to 0.964. Circulation ratios, defined as strong solution mass flow rate per unit desorbed vapor mass flow rate, varied in this study from 3.4 to 20. A method for specifying desorber operating conditions is described, in which a minimum desorber heat input per unit vapor flow rate is determined at an optimum circulation ratio. A description of how the circulation ratio behaves as a function of strong solution mass flow rate, oil flow rate, and the maximum temperature difference between oil and ammonia-water solution is shown.
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