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Simulation of the Film Flow on a Horizontal Tube Feeded by Falling Droplets

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.1986.IntSympHMTinRefCryo.200
pages 277-284

R. H. Wassenaar
Laboratory of Refrigeration, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands


Film flow apparatus have a wide range of applications in the field of heat and mass transfer. In absorption heat pumps for example two basic absorber types are applied: bubble and falling film absorbers. In absorption heat pumps for domestic heating a low pressure mixture is advantageous, in this case a film absorber is preferable [1] . In a horizontal tube row absorber, the tubes arranged in vertical rows, a mixture is flowing around the tubes absorbing a vapour, heat of absorption and solution is released to a cooling medium flowing through the tubes. Depending on flow rate and vertical spacing the mixture can flow between the tubes as a sheet, as jets, or as droplets. In the last case liquid gathers at the bottom of the tube in loops (droplet sources) at regular distances (Taylor instability) from which droplets fall. Flow rate influences droplet fall frequency but not the spacing of the loops. Droplet flow is believed to enhance transport characteristics [2]. A good description of heat and mass transfer in this particular absorber therefore has to start with a description of the film flow. The absorption process causes variations in temperature and concentration in the film but the resulting density and viscosity gradients are relatively small, therefore the film flow can be studied apart from the heat and mass transfer.

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