Thermo-Fluidic Characteristics of Two-Phase Ice Slurry Flows Based on Comparative Numerical Methods
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProcesses. 2019, 7 (12), . https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7120898
Ice slurry is a potential secondary refrigerant for commercial refrigeration systems because of its remarkable thermal properties. It is necessary to optimize the heat transfer process of ice slurry to reduce the energy consumption of the refrigeration system. Thus, this study investigates the heat transfer performance of single-phase (aqueous solution) and two-phase (ice slurry) refrigerants in a straight horizontal tube. The numerical simulations for ice slurry were performed with ice mass fraction ranging from 5% to 20%. The effects of flow velocity and ice concentration on the heat transfer coefficient were examined. The results showed that heat transfer coefficient of ice slurry is considerably higher than those of single-phase flow, particularly at high flow velocity and ice content, where increase in heat transfer with a factor of two was observed. The present results confirmed that ice slurry heat transfer ability is considerably affected by flow velocity and ice concentration in laminar range. Moreover, the second part of this paper reports on the credibility three distinct two-phase Eulerian–Eulerian models (volume of fluid (VOF), mixture, and Eulerian) for the experimental conditions reported in the literature. All two-phase models accurately predict the thermal field at low ice mass fraction but underestimate that at high ice mass fractions. Regardless of the thermal discrepancies, the Eulerian–Eulerian models provide quite reasonable estimation of pressure drop with reference to experimental data. The numerical predictions from the VOF model are more accordant with the experimental results and the maximum percentage error is limited to ~20% and ~13% for thermal and pressure drop predictions, respectively.