Droplet behaviour in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube

R. Liew, W.R. Michalek, J.C.H. Zeegers, J.G.M. Kuerten

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    The vortex tube is an apparatus by which compressed gas is separated into cold and warm streams. Although the apparatus is mostly used for cooling, the possibility to use the vortex tube as a device for removing non-desired condensable components from gas mixtures is investigated. To give first insight on how droplets behave in the vortex tube, a MATLAB model is written. The model tracks Lagrangian droplets in time and space according to the forces acting on the droplets. Phase interactions, i.e. evaporation or condensation, are modeled according to the kinetic approach for phase interactions. Liquid (water) concentrations are shown for two cases where the humidity at the inlet of the vortex tube is varied from 0% to 50%. It is clearly observed from the results that the concentration of liquid increases with increasing humidity. The higher this concentration is, the higher the probability that droplets collide with each other and form larger droplets which are swirled towards the wall to form an easy-to-separate liquid film.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number052013
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event13th European Turbulence Conference, ETC 2011 - Warsaw, Poland
    Duration: 12 Sept 201115 Sept 2011
    Conference number: 13


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