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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET)

Volume 6, Issue 7, Jul 2015, pp. 99-104, Article ID: IJMET_06_07_011


Available online at
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ISSN Print: 0976-6340 and ISSN Online: 0976-6359
IAEME Publication
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VORTEX TUBE REFRIGERATION SYSTEM


BASED ON COMPRESSED AIR
Tejshree Bornare, Abhishek Badgujar and Prathamesh Natu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, KGCE, Karjat, INDIA
ABSTRACT
Refrigeration plays an important role in developing countries, primarily
for the preservation of food, medicine, and for air conditioning. Conventional
refrigeration systems are using Freon as refrigerant. As they are the main
cause for depletion of ozone layer, extensive research work is going on
alternate refrigeration systems. Vortex tube is a non conventional cooling
device, having no moving parts which will produce cold air and hot air from
the source of compressed air without affecting the environment.
When a high pressure air is tangentially injected into vortex chamber a
strong vortex flow will be created which will be split into two air streams, one
hot stream and the other is cold stream at its ends.
An experimental investigation is to be performed in order to realize the
behavior of a vortex tube system. In this work attention has to be focused on
the classification of the parameters affecting vortex tube operation. The
effective parameters are divided into two different types, namely geometrical
and thermo-physical ones. A reliable test rig is to be designed and constructed
to investigate the effect of geometrical parameters i.e. diameter and length of
main tube, diameter of outlet orifice, shape of entrance nozzle.Thermophysical parameters are inlet gas pressure, type of gas, cold gas mass ratio
and moisture of inlet gas.
Keywords: Refrigeration, Vortex tube, Cooling, Pressure, Gas, Test
Cite this Article: Tejshree Bornare, Abhishek Badgujar and Prathamesh Natu,
Vortex Tube Refrigeration System Based on Compressed Air. International
Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, 6(7), 2015, pp. 97-102.
http://www.iaeme.com/currentissue.asp?JType=IJMET&VType=6&IType=7
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Ali M. Rasham, Hussein K. Jobair and Akram A. Abood Alkhazzar

1. INTRODUCTION
Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning play an important role in modern Human Life.
They not only offer comfortable and healthy living environments but also become a
necessity of life to survive for server weather. The accelerated technical development
and economic growth of most counties during the last century has produced sever
environmental problems. Approximately 66 million new refrigerator and freezers
units are manufactured worldwide each year and hundreds of millions are currently in
use. It is anticipated that the production of refrigerator and freezer and the inventory
will substantially increase in the near future due to an increased demand is especially
in developing countries. In order to protect the environment it is important that the
non-CFC refrigeration system designs are to be incorporated as early as possible and
retrofits are to be developed for existing refrigerators and freezers using suitable
substitute refrigerants.
Probably the most widely used current application of refrigeration are for air
conditioning of private homes and public buildings, and refrigerating foodstuffs in
homes, restaurants and large storage warehouses. The use of refrigerators in kitchen
for storing fruits and vegetables has allowed adding fresh salads to the modern diet
year round, and storing fish and meats safely for long periods.
By using vortex tube refrigeration system both hot and cold cooling effect can be
produced without any harm to the environment. This is the main advantage of Vortex
tube refrigeration system based on Compressed air.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW
The Vortex Tube, is a mechanical device that separates a compressed gas into hot
cold streams. It does not have any moving parts. Pressurized gas is injected
tangentially into a swirl chamber and accelerates to a high rate of rotation. Due to the
conical nozzle at the end of the tube, only the outer shell of the compressed air is
allowed to escape at the end. The remainder of the air is forced to return in an inner
vortex of reduced diameter within the outer vortex.
When used to refrigerate, heat-sinking the whole vortex tube is helpful. Vortex
tubes can also be cascaded. The cold (or hot) output of one can be used to pre-cool (or
pre-heat) the air supply to another vortex tube.
Vortex Refrigeration is a highly sophisticated system that contains a Vortex Tube
which due to centrifugal force expels the internal energy of the air while the air at the
center core is made cooler. In this type of system the effectiveness is too low but
considering its small size this cant be ruled off. This is used as personal cooling
system in suits that are designed to withstand heat.

3. WORKING
Compressed air at high pressure enters the vortex tube through tangential nozzle
where the flow gets accelerated. Due to tangential entry, the air has high velocity and
rotates at very high speed. Thus the air has whirling or vortex motion by using six slot
brass spinner in vortex chamber. The end of the cold pipe, which built up with the
vortex chamber, is fitted with a washer that has the half the diameter of the pipe.
Washers with different diameter are also used to adjust the system. Thus cold air is
produced at right end and hot air is produced at the left end of the vortex tube.

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Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Photo-Voltaic Module Performance via


Continuous and Intermittent Water Cooling Techniques

Figure 1 Actual picture of the Vortex Tube

Figure 2 Actual diagram of 6 slot Spinner

Figure 3 Actual diagram of Restrictor

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Ali M. Rasham, Hussein K. Jobair and Akram A. Abood Alkhazzar

4. EXPERIMENTATION
The experimental setup consists of compressor, vortex tube and temperature indicator.
A stop valve at the compressor reservoir exit controls the inlet air to the vortex
chamber. The inlet pressure is measured using pressure gauge. The temperatures of
the air at inlet, at cold end, at hot end and ambient air are measured using
thermocouple.

5. FIGURES AND TABLES:


5.1Calculations
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Pressure Range = (9-8 bar)


Temperature Difference ( ) = 23
Area = ( /4)*D^2
T(atm) = T(inlet) = 30
Velocity = 15.6 m/s
Discharge (q) = 4.41*10-4 m3/s
Mass Flow Rate (m) = 5.403*10-4 kg/s
Cooling Effect (q) = 11.94*10-3 m3/s
Heating Effect (Q) = 3.79*10-3 m3/s
Table No 5.1 Temperature Difference And Velocity:

Sr.
No.

Pressure
Inlet
Hot End
Cold End
Range
Temperature Velocity
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Difference
(m/s)
(bar)
()
()
()

1.
2.

9-8
8-7

30
30

37
36

14
15

23
21

15.6
15.1

3.

7-6

30

34

16

18

14.6

4.

6-5

30

34

16

18

14.0

5.

5-4

30

33

17

17

13.8

Table No 5.2 Cooling Effect:


Pressure Range
(bar)

Temperature
Difference ( )

Temperature
Difference ( )

1.

9-8

23

11.94

2.

8-7

21

10.51

3.

7-6

18

9.14

4.

6-5

18

8.28

5.

5-4

17

7.20

Sr. No.

CoolingEffect
Q=m*Cp*T

Table No 5.3 Heating Effect:

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Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Photo-Voltaic Module Performance via


Continuous and Intermittent Water Cooling Techniques
Temperature
Difference ( )

HeatingEffect
Q=m*Cp*

Pressure Range
(bar)

Temperature
Difference ( )

1.

9-8

23

3.79

2.

8-7

21

3.15

3.

7-6

18

2.03

4.

6-5

18

1.95

5.

5-4

17

1.44

Sr. No.

6. CONCLUSION
A simple model of the Vortex Tube is described that captures the physics related to
one possible operating mechanism. The model is shown to faithfully reproduce a
limited set of data if two empirical parameters are adjusted. The semi-empirical model
is subsequently used to evaluate the potential performance benefit associated with
replacing the throttling valve in a refrigeration system with an approximately
optimized Vortex Tube. An experimental study on the temperature separation in the
Vortex Tube has been carried out and this research finding can be summarized as
follows
1. Temperature difference increases with increase in Inlet Pressure.
2. Availability destruction decreases with increase in tube length due to the increase in
temperature difference.
3. Efficient working point of the existing design is at a cold mass fraction 0.84 for an
inlet pressure of 5bar.
4. Availability destruction is less in the case of Vortex Tube operation with two nozzles
than with one nozzle due to the increase in temperature difference.
5. The increase of the number of inlet nozzles led to higher temperature separation in the
Vortex Tube.
6. Using the tube with insulation to reduce energy loss to surroundings gave a higher
temperature separation in the tube than that without insulation around 2-3for the
cold tube and 2-5 for the hot Tube.
7. A small cold orifice (d/D=0.4) yielded higher backpressure with a large cold orifice
(d/D=0.7, 0.8, and 0.9) allowed higher tangential velocities into the cold tube,
resulting in lower thermal energy separation in the tube.
8. The performance of a conventional vapor compression refrigeration cycle cannot be
augmented through the application of a Vortex Tube because no temperature
separation can occur beneath the vapor dome.
9. The performance of a vapor compression cycle operating in the near super-critical
region, such as carbon dioxide refrigeration cycle, is negligibly increased by the
application of a Vortex Tube.

7. REFERENCES

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Ali M. Rasham, Hussein K. Jobair and Akram A. Abood Alkhazzar


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