A Computational Model for Two-Phase Ejector Flow


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Virginia Tech


A CFD model to simulate two-phase flow in refrigerant ejectors is described. This work is part of an effort to develop the ejector expansion refrigeration cycle, a device which increases performance of a standard vapor compression cycle by replacing the throttling valve with a work-producing ejector. Experimental results have confirmed the performance benefit of the ejector cycle, but significant improvement can be obtained by optimally designing the ejector. The poorly understood two-phase, non-equilibrium flow occuring in the ejector complicates this task.

The CFD code is based on a parabolic two-fluid model. The applicable two-phase flow conservation equations are presented.

Also described are the interfacial interaction terms, important in modelling non-equilibrium effects. Other features of the code, such as a mixing length turbulence model and wall function approximation, are discussed.

Discretization of the equations by the control volume method and organization of the computer program is described.

Code results are shown and compared to experimental data. It is shown that experimental pressure rise through the mixing section matches well against code results. Variable parameters in the code, such as droplet diameter and turbulence constants, are shown to have a large influence on the results.

Results are shown in which an unexpected problem, separation in the mixing section, occurs. Also described is the distribution of liquid across the mixing section, which matches qualitative experimental observations. From these results, conclusions regarding ejector design and two-phase CFD modelling are drawn.



non-equilibrium, refrigeration, Computational fluid dynamics, two-fluid, jet