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Potential Benefits of Smart Refrigerant Distributors. Final Report.

pdf icon Potential Benefits of Smart Refrigerant Distributors. Final Report. (9673 K)
Payne, W. V.; Domanski, P. A.

ARTI-21CR/605-200-50-01; 196 p. December 2002.


Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute, Arlington, VA

Available from:

: National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900; Rush Service (Telephone Orders Only) 800-553-6847;


refrigerants; experiments; uncertainty; validation


The main goal of this study was to investigate the benefits possible for finned tube refrigerant evaporators when refrigerant distribution was precisely controlled to produce a desired equal superheat in each circuit. This goal was accomplished by examining three different finned tube evaporators; a wavy fin, wavy-lanced fin, and a wavy-lanced fin evaporator with tube sheets separated. The effects of non-uniform airflow on capacity were also examined while superheat was controlled in each evaporator circuit. In parallel with the experimental effort, a modeling program was implemented and validated with the experimental results and then used to determine the savings in evaporator core volume possible if refrigerant distribution was controlled by a smart distributor. In extreme cases, the savings in core volume could be as much as 40%.