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Transient Two-Phase Flow Patterns by Application of a High Voltage Pulse Width Modulated Signal and the Effect on Condensation Heat Transfer

[+] Author Affiliations
K. Ng, C. Y. Ching, J. S. Cotton

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Paper No. IHTC14-22159, pp. 41-50; 10 pages
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Volume 2
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 8–13, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4937-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3879-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The objectives of this study are (i) to determine the transient phase redistributions of a two-phase flow in a smooth horizontal annular channel by applying high voltage pulses to induce electric fields and (ii) to quantify the resultant changes in the condensation heat transfer. The experiments were performed using refrigerant R-134a flowing in a tube that was cooled on the outside by a counter-current flow of water. The electric fields are established by applying high voltage to a concentric rod electrode inside a grounded tube. The effect of the electrohydrodynamic (EHD) forces on the changes to the initial stratified/stratified wavy flow pattern was visualized using a high speed camera. The EHD effect results in the redistribution of the liquid-vapour phase within the channel and unique flow structures, such as twisted liquid cones and entrained droplets, are observed. These structures only appear during the initial application of EHD and are absent in the steady state flow pattern. Experiments were performed using a 8kV pulse width modulated (PWM) signal with duty cycles ranging from 0–100% to evaluate the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of the transient EHD flow patterns. The resultant heat transfer increased with the duty cycle to approximately 2.7-fold at a low mass flux (45–55kg/m2 s) and 1.2-fold at a high mass flux (110kg/m2 s). The enhancement was higher as the pulse width was increased.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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