heat exchanger, microchannel condenser, household refrigerator, energy consumption
The aim of this work is to study, theoretically and experimentally, the impact of using forced-draft microchannel condensers in a specific model of household refrigerator. To this end, a mathematical model was developed to predict the condenser heat released rate and the air-side pressure drop as a function of geometry and operating conditions. This model was then added to an existing simulation platform of household refrigerators, in an attempt to study the effect of the heat exchanger on the appliance performance. Experiments were carried out in an open-type wind tunnel and in a climate-controlled test chamber, to validate both the condenser and the system mathematical models. It has been found that the predictions of the condenser model for the heat transfer rate and air-side pressure drop were kept within ±10% and ±20% error bands, respectively. It has also been found that the appliance energy consumption was predicted with maximum errors of ±3.5%. An extensive sensitivity analysis was also carried out revealing a potential drop of 13% in energy consumption with the use of a 20 passes, 200mm high, 180mm wide, 72mm deep, 200 fins/meter and 46 rectangular ports microchannel condenser.