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University of Kufa – College of Engineering

th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

CHAPTER FOUR
EVAPORATOR
4.1 Definition
An evaporator, like condenser is also a heat exchanger. In an evaporator,
the refrigerant boils or evaporates and in doing so absorbs heat from the
substance being refrigerated.
4.2 Classification
There are several ways of classifying the evaporators depending upon the
heat transfer process or refrigerant flow or condition of heat transfer surface.

1. Natural and Forced Convection Type


2. Refrigerant Flow Inside or Outside Tubes
3. Flooded and Dry (DX) Type
The third classification is flooded type and dry type. Evaporator is said to
be flooded type if liquid refrigerant covers the entire heat transfer surface. This
type of evaporator uses a float type of expansion valve. An evaporator is called
dry type when a portion of the evaporator is used for superheating the refrigerant
vapour after its evaporation.

 Flooded Evaporator (Fig. 4.1)


 Flooded Type Shell-and-Tube Evaporator (Fig. 4.2)
 Direct expansion type, Shell-and-Tube Evaporator (Fig. 4.3)
 Shell-and-Coil type evaporator
 Double pipe type evaporator (Fig. 4.4)
 Baudelot type evaporators (Fig. 4.5)
 Direct expansion fin-and-tube type (Fig. 4.6)
 Plate Surface Evaporators(Fig. 4.7)
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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

Fig.4.1 Schematic of a flooded evaporator

Fig.4.2 Schematic of a flooded type shell-and-tube evaporator

Fig. 4.3 Schematic of a direct expansion type, Shell-and-Tube evaporator

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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

Fig. 4.4 Schematic of a double pipe type evaporator

Fig. 4.5 Schematic of a Baudelot type evaporator for chilling of milk

Fig. 4.6 Schematic of a direct expansion fin-and-tube type

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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

Fig. 4.7 Schematic of an embedded tube, plate surface evaporator

4.3 Thermal design of evaporators:


Compared to the design of refrigerant condensers, the design of refrigerant
evaporators is more complex. The complexity arises due to the following
factors:
a) On the refrigerant side, the heat transfer coefficient varies widely when
evaporation takes place in tubes due to changing flow regimes. Accurate
estimation of heat transfer coefficient is thus difficult
b) On the external fluid side, if the external fluid is air (as in air conditioning
and cold storage applications), in addition to sensible heat transfer, latent
heat transfer also takes place as moisture in air may condense or even freeze
on the evaporator surface. The evaporator surface may be partly dry and

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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

partly wet, depending upon the operating conditions. Hence, mass transfer
has to be considered in the design. If frost formation due to freezing of
moisture takes place, then heat transfer resistance varies continuously with
time.
c) The lubricating oil gets separated in the evaporator tubes due to low
miscibility of oil at evaporator temperature and pressure. The separation of
oil affects both heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics. A minimum
refrigerant velocity must be provided for oil carry over in direct expansion
type evaporators.
d) Compared to condenser, refrigerant pressure drop in evaporator is more
critical as it has significant influence on the performance of the refrigeration
system. Hence, multiple circuits may have to be used in large systems to
reduce pressure drops. Refrigerant velocity has to be optimized taking
pressure drop and oil return characteristics into account.
e) Under part-load applications, there is a possibility of evaporator flooding and
compressor slugging. This aspect has to be considered at the time of
evaporator design.
4.4 Boiling inside tubes
When refrigerant boil inside the tubes, the heat-transfer coefficient changes
progressively as the refrigerant flows through the tube. The refrigerant enters the
evaporator tube with a low fraction of vapor. As the refrigerant proceeds
through the tube, the fraction of vapor increases, intensifying the agitation and
increasing the heat-transfer coefficient. When the refrigerant is nearly all
vaporized, the coefficient drops off to the magnitude applicable to vapor
transferring heat by forced convection. Fig. 4.8 shows local coefficients
throughout a tube for three different levels of temperature. The heat transfer
coefficient is highest for the high evaporating temperature, probably because at
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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

high evaporating temperatures and pressures the vapor density is high,


permitting a greater fraction of the metal to be wetted with liquid.

Fig. 4.8 Heat-transfer coefficients of refrigerant 22 boiling inside tubes


curve 1 at 10 °C, curve 2 at 3 °C, and curve 3 at 2.8 °C temperatures of evaporation.

4.11 Frost

When the surface temperatures of an air-cooling evaporator fall below 0°C


frost will form. Frost is detrimental to the operation of the refrigeration system
for two reasons:

(1) Thick layers of frost act as insulation

(2) in forced convection coils the frost reduces the airflow rate.

With a reduced airflow rate the U value of the coil drops, and the mean
temperature difference between the air and refrigerant must increase in order to

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University of Kufa – College of Engineering
th
Air Conditioning Engineering Department / 4 Year
By M.Sc.: Hyder M. Abdul Hussein
Equipment Technology – Chapter Four – Evaporator

transfer the same rate of heat flow. Both these factors penalize the system by
requiring a lower evaporating temperature.

Numerous methods of defrosting are available, and probably the most


popular ones are hot-gas defrost and water defrost. In hot-gas defrost, discharge
gas from the compressor is sent directly to the evaporator and the evaporator
performs temporarily as a condenser. The heat of condensation melts off the
frost, which drains away. In water defrost, a stream of water is directed over the
coil until all the frost is melted.

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