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Condensation in ducts
Da Riva de la Cavada, Ignacio and Sanz Andres, Angel Pedro
Condensation in ducts.
"Microgravity Science Technology", v. 4
Phase changing flows are being considered for thermal management in space platforms. The resulting flow patterns are very complicated and extremely sensitive to gravity action. Concerning fluid flow in ducts, the available evidence indicates that although the pressure loss does not depend too much on the fluid flow pattern,the heat transfer (and resulting phase change) does. A simple exercise to illustrate this point is presented in this paper. It deals with condensing flow in straight circular cross-sectional ducts. Two extreme configurations are considered here, one corresponds to a stratified flow and the other to an annular flow. Both types of flow patterns have been extensively considered in the past and from this point of view almost nothing is new in the paper, but past results look conflictive and this could be due to the limitations and computational intricacies of the models used. Thus the problem has been reformulated from the onset and the results are presented as the evolution of the vapor quality (vapor to total mass flow rate) along the duct, in typical cases. The results presented here indicate that within the validity of the present models and the assumed ranges of mass flow rate, duct diameter, thermal conditions and fluid characteristics,the length of the ducts required to achieve complete condensation under zero gravity are an order of magnitude larger than in horizontal tubes under normal terrestrial conditions.
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