Refrigerant distribution, two-phase flow, header, flat tube, heat exchanger
A heat exchanger that arranges flat tubes horizontally has a vertical header that distributes the refrigerant to each tube. When the heat exchanger works as an evaporator, differences in flow conditions at each branch, such as the ratio and distribution of vapor and liquid, due to the differences in densities and momentums of vapor and liquid in the two-phase flow make equal distribution difficult. This paper describes the distribution characteristics of a four-branch header that has a rectangular cross-section without the internal protrusion of flat tubes in the case of the inflow of the refrigerant R32 from the bottom of the header by using an equipment that can estimate the distribution ratio of the liquid and vapor phase to each branch. This paper also discusses the distribution characteristics on the basis of the flow visualization in the header. The flow visualization shows that a liquid level that contains vapor phase exists in the header and affects the distribution greatly.