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NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF TWO-PHASE AQUEOUS FOAM FLOW FOR HEAT EXCHANGER APPLICATIONS

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2008.CHT.1830
16 pages

Irena Gabrielaitiene
Energy Technology Institute, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

Bengt Sunden
Department of Energy Sciences, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, Lund, SE-22100, Sweden

Jonas Gylys
Department of Thermal and Nuclear Energy, Kaunas University of Technology, K.Donelaièio str. 20, LT-44239 Kaunas, Lithuania

Abstract

This work details investigation of two-phase aqueous foam flow, which is applicable for developing energy-efficient heat exchangers. In such heat exchangers, heat transfer rates are enhanced due to the structure and properties of aqueous foam, namely gas bubbles separated by a thin liquid film. Aqueous foam is noted to have an especially large inter-phase contact surface and reduced surface tension when compared to pure liquids. However, the foam flow in a channel provided with a heated surface (representing a typical heat exchanger element) invokes rearrangement and collision of foam bubbles. This in turn induces changes in local foam velocity, redistribution of volumetric void fraction and temperature. To study this phenomenon, the finite volume method was applied, which was implemented in FLUENT software (version 6.2). The computation domain consists of a rectangular channel with heat pipe located in a middle of a channel. The influence of different velocities and values of volumetric void fraction was examined. The relationship trend obtained by numerical modelling was compared with data obtained from experimental investigations.

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