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A study of flow characteristics of electronic expansion valves for household refrigeration applications.

Author(s) : KNABBEN F. T., MELO C., HERMES C. J. L.

Type of article: IJR article


Isobutane flows through electronic expansion valves with hydraulic diameters smaller than 0.19 mm are analyzed in this paper. First, three similar valves but with different orifice sizes were tested with nitrogen to establish the operational envelope in terms of volumetric flow rate and opening ratio. Two valves suitable for household refrigeration were then selected and tested with isobutane under conditions typically observed in practice. To this end, a purpose-built set-up capable of operating with condensation and evaporation temperatures between 25 and 45°C and −28 and −10°C, respectively, was constructed. In order to check for choked flow, performance curves for the mass flow rate were obtained for several opening ratios by varying the backpressure up to values closer to the condensation pressure. The nitrogen results revealed that the largest orifice valve can behave similarly as 3 m long capillary tubes with inner diameters between 0.40 and 0.85 mm. Concerning the isobutane tests, it was found that the valves are nearly insensible to the inlet sub-cooling and that the flow is likely to be choked for household refrigeration conditions. It was observed that the choking pressure ratio is not affected by the inlet pressure, being a function basically of the valve opening. Finally, a π-type correlation was proposed for the flow coefficient, putting forward a model for predicting the valve mass flow rate. An agreement between experiments and model predictions was achieved with 94% of the 138 points within 15% error bounds.

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Pages: 1-9


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  • Original title: A study of flow characteristics of electronic expansion valves for household refrigeration applications.
  • Record ID : 30027409
  • Languages: English
  • Source: International Journal of Refrigeration - Revue Internationale du Froid - vol. 113
  • Publication date: 2020/05
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2019.12.011


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