K. T. Ooi

Publications

1 Reducing Pressure Drop in Microscale Channel Using Constructal Theory

Authors: K. X. Cheng, A. L. Goh, K. T. Ooi

Abstract:

The effectiveness of microchannels in enhancing heat transfer has been demonstrated in the semiconductor industry. In order to tap the microscale heat transfer effects into macro geometries, overcoming the cost and technological constraints, microscale passages were created in macro geometries machined using conventional fabrication methods. A cylindrical insert was placed within a pipe, and geometrical profiles were created on the outer surface of the insert to enhance heat transfer under steady-state single-phase liquid flow conditions. However, while heat transfer coefficient values of above 10 kW/m2·K were achieved, the heat transfer enhancement was accompanied by undesirable pressure drop increment. Therefore, this study aims to address the high pressure drop issue using Constructal theory, a universal design law for both animate and inanimate systems. Two designs based on Constructal theory were developed to study the effectiveness of Constructal features in reducing the pressure drop increment as compared to parallel channels, which are commonly found in microchannel fabrication. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer performance for the Tree insert and Constructal fin (Cfin) insert were studied using experimental methods, and the underlying mechanisms were substantiated by numerical results. In technical terms, the objective is to achieve at least comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop, if not higher increment in the former parameter. Results show that the Tree insert improved the heat transfer performance by more than 16 percent at low flow rates, as compared to the Tree-parallel insert. However, the heat transfer enhancement reduced to less than 5 percent at high Reynolds numbers. On the other hand, the pressure drop increment stayed almost constant at 20 percent. This suggests that the Tree insert has better heat transfer performance in the low Reynolds number region. More importantly, the Cfin insert displayed improved heat transfer performance along with favourable hydrodynamic performance, as compared to Cfinparallel insert, at all flow rates in this study. At 2 L/min, the enhancement of heat transfer was more than 30 percent, with 20 percent pressure drop increment, as compared to Cfin-parallel insert. Furthermore, comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop was observed at 8 L/min. In other words, the Cfin insert successfully achieved the objective of this study. Analysis of the results suggests that bifurcation of flows is effective in reducing the increment in pressure drop relative to heat transfer enhancement. Optimising the geometries of the Constructal fins is therefore the potential future study in achieving a bigger stride in energy efficiency at much lower costs.

Keywords: pressure drop, microchannel, constructal theory, enhanced heat transfer

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Abstracts

3 Coefficient of Performance (COP) Optimization of an R134a Cross Vane Expander Compressor Refrigeration System

Authors: Y. D. Lim, K. S. Yap, K. T. Ooi

Abstract:

Cross Vane Expander Compressor (CVEC) is a newly invented expander-compressor combined unit, where it is introduced to replace the compressor and the expansion valve in traditional refrigeration system. The mathematical model of CVEC has been developed to examine its performance, and it was found that the energy consumption of a conventional refrigeration system was reduced by as much as 18%. It is believed that energy consumption can be further reduced by optimizing the device. In this study, the coefficient of performance (COP) of CVEC has been optimized under predetermined operational parameters and constrained main design parameters. Several main design parameters of CVEC were selected to be the variables, and the optimization was done with theoretical model in a simulation program. The theoretical model consists of geometrical model, dynamic model, heat transfer model and valve dynamics model. Complex optimization method, which is a constrained, direct search and multi-variables method was used in the study. As a result, the optimization study suggested that with an appropriate combination of design parameters, a 58% COP improvement in CVEC R134a refrigeration system is possible.

Keywords: Design, Simulation, Air-Conditioning, COP, R134a, cross vane expander-compressor, CVEC, multi variables, refrigeration system

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2 Design Optimisation of a Novel Cross Vane Expander-Compressor Unit for Refrigeration System

Authors: Y. D. Lim, K. S. Yap, K. T. Ooi

Abstract:

In recent years, environmental issue has been a hot topic in the world, especially the global warming effect caused by conventional non-environmentally friendly refrigerants has increased. Several studies of a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration system have been conducted in order to tackle the issue. In search of a better refrigeration system, CO2 refrigeration system has been proposed as a better option. However, the high throttling loss involved during the expansion process of the refrigeration cycle leads to a relatively low efficiency and thus the system is impractical. In order to improve the efficiency of the refrigeration system, it is suggested by replacing the conventional expansion valve in the refrigeration system with an expander. Based on this issue, a new type of expander-compressor combined unit, named Cross Vane Expander-Compressor (CVEC) was introduced to replace the compressor and the expansion valve of a conventional refrigeration system. A mathematical model was developed to calculate the performance of CVEC, and it was found that the machine is capable of saving the energy consumption of a refrigeration system by as much as 18%. Apart from energy saving, CVEC is also geometrically simpler and more compact. To further improve its efficiency, optimization study of the device is carried out. In this report, several design parameters of CVEC were chosen to be the variables of optimization study. This optimization study was done in a simulation program by using complex optimization method, which is a direct search, multi-variables and constrained optimization method. It was found that the main design parameters, which was shaft radius was reduced around 8% while the inner cylinder radius was remained unchanged at its lower limit after optimization. Furthermore, the port sizes were increased to their upper limit after optimization. The changes of these design parameters have resulted in reduction of around 12% in the total frictional loss and reduction of 4% in power consumption. Eventually, the optimization study has resulted in an improvement in the mechanical efficiency CVEC by 4% and improvement in COP by 6%.

Keywords: Energy Saving, Design optimization, Improvement, direct search, COP, complex optimization method, cross vane expander-compressor, CVEC, mechanical efficiency, multi variables

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1 Reducing Pressure Drop in Microscale Channel Using Constructal Theory

Authors: K. X. Cheng, A. L. Goh, K. T. Ooi

Abstract:

The effectiveness of microchannels in enhancing heat transfer has been demonstrated in the semiconductor industry. In order to tap the microscale heat transfer effects into macro geometries, overcoming the cost and technological constraints, microscale passages were created in macro geometries machined using conventional fabrication methods. A cylindrical insert was placed within a pipe, and geometrical profiles were created on the outer surface of the insert to enhance heat transfer under steady-state single-phase liquid flow conditions. However, while heat transfer coefficient values of above 10 kW/m2·K were achieved, the heat transfer enhancement was accompanied by undesirable pressure drop increment. Therefore, this study aims to address the high pressure drop issue using Constructal theory, a universal design law for both animate and inanimate systems. Two designs based on Constructal theory were developed to study the effectiveness of Constructal features in reducing the pressure drop increment as compared to parallel channels, which are commonly found in microchannel fabrication. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer performance for the Tree insert and Constructal fin (Cfin) insert were studied using experimental methods, and the underlying mechanisms were substantiated by numerical results. In technical terms, the objective is to achieve at least comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop, if not higher increment in the former parameter. Results show that the Tree insert improved the heat transfer performance by more than 16 percent at low flow rates, as compared to the Tree-parallel insert. However, the heat transfer enhancement reduced to less than 5 percent at high Reynolds numbers. On the other hand, the pressure drop increment stayed almost constant at 20 percent. This suggests that the Tree insert has better heat transfer performance in the low Reynolds number region. More importantly, the Cfin insert displayed improved heat transfer performance along with favourable hydrodynamic performance, as compared to Cfinparallel insert, at all flow rates in this study. At 2 L/min, the enhancement of heat transfer was more than 30 percent, with 20 percent pressure drop increment, as compared to Cfin-parallel insert. Furthermore, comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop was observed at 8 L/min. In other words, the Cfin insert successfully achieved the objective of this study. Analysis of the results suggests that bifurcation of flows is effective in reducing the increment in pressure drop relative to heat transfer enhancement. Optimising the geometries of the Constructal fins is therefore the potential future study in achieving a bigger stride in energy efficiency at much lower costs.

Keywords: pressure drop, microchannel, constructal theory, enhanced heat transfer

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