Study on surface condensate water removal and heat transfer performance of a minichannel heat exchanger
Liu, X and Chen, H and Wang, X and Kefayati, G, Study on surface condensate water removal and heat transfer performance of a minichannel heat exchanger, Energies, 13, (5) Article 1065. ISSN 1996-1073 (2020) [Refereed Article]
The condensate on the surface of the minichannel heat exchanger generated during air
cooling substantially reduces the heat transfer performance as it works as an evaporator in the airconditioning system. This has received much attention in scientific communities. In this paper, the effect of operating parameters on the heat transfer performance of a minichannel heat exchanger (MHE) is investigated under an evaporator working condition. An experimental MHE test system is developed for this purpose, and extensive experimental studies are conducted under a wide range of working conditions using the water-cooling method. The inlet air temperature shows a large effect on the overall heat transfer coefficient, while the inlet air relative humidity shows a large effect on the condensate aggregation rate. The airside heat transfer coefficient increases from 66 to 81 W/(m2·K) when the inlet air temperature increases from 30 to 35 °C. While the condensate
aggregation rate on the MHE surface increases by up to 1.8 times when the relative humidity
increases from 50% to 70%. The optimal air velocity, 2.5 m/s, is identified in terms of the heat transfer rate and airside heat transfer coefficient of the MHE. It is also found that the heat transfer rate and overall heat transfer coefficient increase as the air velocity increases from 1.5 to 2.5 m/s and decreases above 2.5 m/s. Furthermore, a large amount of condensate accumulates on the MHE surface lowering the MHE heat transfer. The inclined installation angle of the MHE in the wind tunnel effectively enhances heat transfer performance on the MHE surface. The experimental results provide useful information for reducing condensate accumulation and enhancing microchannel heat transfer.