Results are presented here from an experimental investigation on tubeside condensation and evaporation heat transfer that took place in three Vipertex stainless steel enhanced heat transfer tubes (1EHT-2, 2EHT-2 and 4EHT). Equivalent outer diameter of the tube was 9.52 mm (0.375 in) and the inner diameter was 8.32 mm (0.3276 in). The test apparatus included a horizontal, straight test section with an active length heated by water circulated in a surrounding annulus. Constant heat flux was maintained and refrigerant quality varied.
Condensation experimental runs were performed using R410A as the working ﬂuid; over the inlet quality range of 0.2– 0.8; for mass ﬂux values that ranged from 150 to 460 kg/(m2 s). In a comparison of condensation heat transfer performance, the enhanced 1EHT-1 tube has best heat performance followed by the enhanced 4EHT tube and finally the 1EHT-2 tube. The highest pressure drop increase was seen in the 1EHT-1 tube followed by the 4EHT tube and the 1EHT-2 tube. The evaporation experiments were performed using R410A at a constant saturation temperature of 279 K; for a mass flux that ranged from 160 to 390 kg/(m2 s). Inlet and outlet vapor qualities were fixed at 0.2 and 0.8, respectively. As the mass velocity increased, the heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop penalty increase accordingly. Experimental results show a slightly larger pressure drop in the 1EHT-1 tube. The pressure drop in the three EHT tubes could be attributed to the dimples and protrusions in the surface structure, which produce an increased density of nucleation sites. In addition, it was found that the evaporation pressure drop increases with the increasing depth of the dimples. Condensation and evaporation performance is mainly due to the increase in the heat transfer surface area and the increase of interfacial turbulence; this produces ﬂow separation, secondary ﬂows and a higher heat ﬂux from the wall to the working ﬂuid.
Enhanced heat transfer tubes are important options to be considered in the design of high efficiency systems. A wide variety of industrial processes involve the transfer of heat energy during phase change and many of those processes employ old technology. These processes are ideal candidates for a redesign that could achieve improved process performance. Vipertex enhanced tubes recover more energy and provide an opportunity to advance the design of many heat transfer products.