Investigation of two-phase thermosyphon performance filled with modern HFC refrigerants

Research paper by Grzegorz Gorecki

Indexed on: 11 Feb '18Published on: 10 Feb '18Published in: Heat and Mass Transfer


Two-phase closed thermosyphons (TPCTs) are widely utilized as heat exchanger elements in waste heat recovery systems and as passive heating/cooling devices. They are popular because of their high thermal conductivity, simple construction and reliability. Previous researches indicate that refrigerants are performing better than typical TPCT working fluids like deionized water or alcohols in the low temperature range. In the present study three HFC (Hydrofluorocarbons) refrigerants were tested: R134a, R404A and R407C. The total length of the investigated TPCT is 550 mm with equal length (245 mm) condenser and evaporator sections. Its outer diameter is 22 mm with 1 mm wall thickness. The evaporator section was heated by hot water with varying inlet temperature by 5 K step in the range of 288 K – 323 K. The condenser was cooled by cold water with inlet temperature kept at a constant value of 283 K. It was found that using R134a and R404A as working fluids heat transfer rates are the highest. For both refrigerants 10% is optimal filling ratio. They can be utilized interchangeably because the differences between their throughputs are within uncertainty bands. R407C performance was 50% lower. Other disadvantages of using this refrigerant are relatively high working pressures and higher optimal filling ratio (30%).