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ABSTRACT

This paper describes the experimental study of the temperature separation phenomenon in a counter-flow type vortex tube. The vortex tube (also called the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube) is a mechanical device operating as a refrigerating and heating machine simultaneously without any moving parts, by separating a compressed gas stream into a low temperature region and a high one. The gas is injected tangentially into a chamber(Vortex Chamber) with high degree of swirl. At the other end because of the nozzle only the outer periphery part is allowed to escape where as the inner part is forced into the inner vortex with a small diameter within the outer vortex.A vortex tube assembly equipped with a control mechanism for use in the selectively adjusting the temperature of air discharged from the primary outlet of assembly to any temperature within the range from maximum hot to maximum cold, the temperature of the discharged air varying in generally linear relation with adjustments in the position of a temperature control valve. Traditionally vortex tubes are mostly operated at high entrance pressures (>10 psig) and always used for cooling operations. There are industrial applications that result in unused pressurized gases.Using vortex tube energy separation may be a method to recover waste pressure energy from high and low pressure sources. In various industrial systems, magnitudes of waste pressure may be lower but may have significant mass flow rates. Hence it is important to make sure that vortex tube provides the required energy separation while harnessing the low pressure but high mass flow rate waste energy and utilizes it for not only cooling but also for heating purposes.

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION:
The vortex tube is a device which separates a high pressure flow entering tangentially into two low pressure flows, there by producing a temperature change. The vortex tube has no moving parts and generally consists of a circular tube with nozzles and a throttle valve. High pressure gas enters the vortex tube tangentially through the nozzles which increases the angular velocity and thus produces a swirl effect. There are two exits in the vortex tube. The hot exit is located in the outer radius near the far end of the nozzle and the cold exit is in the centre of the tube near the nozzle. The gas separates into two layers. The gas closer to the axis has a low temperature and comes out through the cold exit and the gas near the periphery of the tube has a high temperature which comes out through the hot exit.

Figure 1- basic operation of the vortex tube The difference in the temperature produced due to the swirl flow was first observed by Ranque during the study of dust separation cyclone and he referred it as temperature separation. Other investigator has proposed the idea that the energy transfer is due to compression and expansion during the flow. The proposed mechanism includes turbulent eddies, embedded secondary circulation and vortices. Gutsol proposed that the energy separation is due to the centrifugal separation of micro volumes with different azimuthal velocity in the vortex tube. The vortex tube was first observed by Ranque. Later, Hilsch did some experimental and theoretical studies to increase the efficiency of the vortex tube. Fulton explained the energy separation. He proposed that the inner layer heat the outer layer meanwhile expanding and growing cold. Reynold did the numerical
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analysis of vortex tube. Lewellen arrived at the solution by combining the three Navier-stokes equations for an incompressible fluid in a strong rotating axisymmetric flow with a radial sink flow. Linderstorm-lang examined the velocity and thermal fields in the tube. He calculated the axial and radial gradients of the tangential velocity profile from prescribed secondary flow functions on the basis of a zero-order approximation to the momentum equations developed by Lewellen for an incompressible flow. Types of Vortex tube The vortex tube is generally classified into two types. They are uniflow type or parallel type and counter flow type. Uniflow type This type of vortex tube has both the cold and hot exit at the far end of nozzle in the same side. In this type the vortex tube consist of a nozzle, vortex tube and the cold exit present concentrically with the annular hot exit. The main applications of the vortex tube are in those areas where compactness, reliability, and low equipment costs are the major factors and the operating efficiency is of no consequence. Some typical applications are cooling devices for airplanes, space suits and mines; instrument cooling; and industrial process coolers. Counter-flow vortex tube: The counter flow vortex tube consists of a nozzle, vortex tube, and hot outlet with a cone shaped valve which controls the output. The cold exit is present centrally near the nozzle end. A source of compressed gas (e.g. air) at high pressure enters the vortex tube tangentially through one or more inlet nozzles at a high velocity. The expanding air inside the tube then creates a rapidly spinning vortex. The length of the tube is typically between 30 and 50 tube diameters.

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Fig 2(a) Ranque-Hilsch counter flow vortex tube. Fig2(b) Ranque-Hilsch uniflow vortex tube

. As the air expands down the tube, the pressure drops sharply to a value slightly above atmospheric pressure,. Centrifugal action will keep this constrained vortex close to the inner surface of the tube. The air that escapes at the other end of the tube can be varied by a flow-control valve, usually shaped as a cone. The amount of air released is between 30% and 70% of the total airflow in the tube. The remainder of the air is returned through the centre of the tube, along its axis as a counter-flowing stream. Once a vortex is set up in the tube, the air near the axis cools down while the air at periphery heats up in comparison with the inlet temperature. This phenomenon is known as temperature separation effect.

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Important definition: A few important terms related to vortex tube has been discussed. 1. Cold mass fraction: The cold mass fraction defines the ratio between the mass of air moving out through the cold exit to the actual mass of air entering the vortex tube through the inlet. It is an important parameter which defines the performance and the temperature separation of a vortex tube. This is expressed by C= Mc/Mi, Where Mc is the mass flow rate of cold air and Mi is the mass flow rate through the inlet. 2. Cold air temperature drop Cold air temperature drop is the difference between the temperatures of air at inlet to that of the temperature of air at cold exit. It is denoted by Tc = Ti Tc; Where Ti is the temperature of air at inlet and Tc is the temperature of air at cold outlet. 3. Cold orifice diameter ratio Cold orifice diameter ratio is the ratio between the diameters (d) at the cold exit to that at the inlet (D). d/D 4. Coefficient of performance It is defined as defined as a ratio of cooling rate to the energy used in cooling. It is given by COP=Qc/W

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Where Qc is the cooling rate per unit of air in the inlet vortex tube, and W is mechanical energy used in cooling per unit of air inlet. Background Energy is a commodity that all humans are dependent on. Without energy we cannot function and our countries economies will fall. Our world has a current energy consumption of 512.75 quadrillion kJ as calculated in a survey in the International Energy Annual (U.S Govenment, 2005). This same survey also predicts that the total energy consumption will grow by 50 % by the year 2030. This is cause for alarm because currently 87 % of the energy sources used globally are either natural gas or fossil fuels (such as oil or coal) which are non-renewable energy sources and are rapidly being depleted by the world's ever increasing energy needs. From this data it is evident that alternative energy sources must be exploited.

Objective Do a theoretical analysis on the RHVT to gain a better understanding of how it works. The objectives of the present research work are to: Characterize industrial waste pressure as a reclaimable form of energy, Analyze the effectiveness of vortex tube energy separation in recovering waste energy from low pressure sources, Make a distinction between thermal and fluid dynamical time scales, Explore experimentally and theoretically the possibility of multiple flow structures (like Reverse/Venture flow, Elbow flow, T-flow or VT-flow) inside vortex tube regime. Utilizing waste pressure energy in industrial systems Concept of waste pressure energy Waste pressure, similar to waste heat, can be defined as the pressure energy which is generated in a process but then dumped to the environment even though it could still be reused for some useful and economic purpose. In various industrial
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Table1:- lists various waste pressure applications. Application Average available waste pressures (bar) [a] Back pressure applications: 1. Gas turbine exhaust 26 2. Forced air- blast furnace exhaust 2 10 3. Positive pressure furnaces: i. Envelope furnaces 6.5 10 ii. Laboratory furnaces 1.15 1.4 iii. Powder metallurgy, air furnaces 25 and sintering furnaces. [b] Two phase flashing applications 1. Vapor compression liquid chiller 2 10 2. Multistage flashing- desalination 1.15 1.40 3. Geothermal steam flashing 68 [c] Non-condensable gas exhausts 1. Fossil thermal power plants, H2 5 30 production. 2. Geothermal steam flashing, CO2 6 10 production. 3. Air separation units (Pressure 6 80 swing adsorption) O2 or N2 production. Table 1:- Various applications and available waste pressures. processes, waste pressure may come in the form of pressurized exhaust gases (including non-condensable gases), steam, blow off compressed air, or even in the form of pressurized hot water. The essential quality of waste pressure energy is not the amount but rather the value. This thesis begins with an introduction to various applications that typically result in waste pressure and will analyze the effectiveness of vortex tube technology in

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recovering waste pressure energy from high and low pressure sources (P. A. Domanski, 1995) and achieve energy and gas separation.

Sources of waste pressure energy The strategy of how to recover this waste pressure depends in part on the pressure and source of waste pressure gases, type of the gas and the economics involved. Sources of waste pressure energy can be divided according to pressure magnitude into two categories: High pressure and low pressure sources. Based on the pressure energy applications, sources of waste pressure energy can be classified into the following categories: Back pressure applications, two phase flashing applications, low and high pressure noncondensable exhaust gases, and industrial low and high pressure applications. In most of these applications available pressure energy is low in magnitude. Use of Ranque Hilsch vortex tube for utilizing waste pressure The Ranque-Hilsch tube is a device that separates a flow of gas into two streams simultaneously, one hotter than the inlet and one cooler. The lack of moving parts and no need of electricity make the vortex tube attractive for a number of specialized applications where simplicity, robustness and reliability are desired. Historically, the design of commercially available vortex tubes has been optimized to supply the cool stream fraction for a variety of applications including integrated circuit board cooling, cabinet cooling, cooling ultrasonic welds, and cooling small parts after brazing. (Selin Arslan, 2002) . Inlet nozzles are tangent to the main tube which causes the entering air to acquire the vertical motion which gives the device its name. At one side of inlet nozzle is a fixed flow restriction called the cold orifice, and at the other end of the main tube there is a variable flow restriction (called the hot fraction control valve). These names derive from the essence of the vortex tube, namely, that the air leaving the tube through the orifice is colder than the entering air while the air leaving through the valve is hotter.
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The degree of heating and cooling depends upon the relative amount of air leaving each end of the tube. Cold airflow and temperature are easily controlled by adjusting the slotted tapered valve in the hot air outlet. Opening the valve reduces the cold airflow and cold air temperature. Closing the valve increases the cold airflow and cold air temperature. The percentage of air directed to the cold outlet of the vortex tube is called the cold fraction and the percentage of air directed to the hot outlet is called the hot fraction.

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Review of Literature

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Essential literature review From 1934, almost 200-215 articles are published on Ranque Hilsch vortex tube. Many articles addressed experimental findings and remaining discussed various theories explaining energy separation phenomenon. In this subsection, we are going to discuss only those articles (experimental and/or theoretical work) which are directly related to current work. Experimental research on vortex tube In the past, many researchers tried to study energy separation phenomenon and the resulting enrichment of the inlet gas inside the vortex tube. Most of the researchers conducted experiments to study the effect of the following parameters on the energy separation characteristics of the vortex tube: Thermo-physical parameters (like the fluid, inlet pressure, temperature, etc.) and The geometry (like number of nozzles, diameter, length, etc.) Thermo-physical parameters It was very important to conduct experiments with different working mediums to determine the effect of compressibility on the energy separation. The first study on the separation of mixtures with the Ranque Hilsch vortex tube was published in 1967 by Linderstrom-Lang and in 1977 by Marshall . The gas mixtures (oxygen and nitrogen, carbon dioxide and helium, carbon dioxide and air, and other mixtures) were used as the working medium in their work. In 2001 the vortex tube system was used for carbon-dioxide separation by K. T. Raterman . In 2002 the Ranque Hilsch vortex tube system was used to enrich the concentration of methane by Manohar . In 2004, natural gas was used as working medium and with the vortex tube natural gas was liquified by Poshernev . In 1979 steam was used as working medium by Takahama . In 1979, two-phase propane was used as the working medium by Collins . It was found that when the degree of dryness (defined as the ratio of the mass of gaseous part over the total mass) of the liquid and gaseous propane is higher than 0.80, a significant temperature difference is maintained. With two-phase working medium, the degree of dryness is an important parameter, when the degree of dryness is larger than some critical value, energy separation occurs. In 1988, Balmer used liquid water as the working medium. It was found that when the inlet pressure is high, for instance 20 to 50
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bars, then and then we get the energy separation. So it proves that for the energy separation process, compressibility is vital. Experimental results obtained by varying thermo-physical parameters can be summarized as follows: The working media is very important in the operation of the vortex tube system. By selecting different working media, the performance of the system can be optimized, and The vortex tube can be used for utilizing waste pressure energy even if the pressure energy is in the form of non-condensed gases, inert gases or liquid vapors. Geometrical Parameters Geometrical parameters include the positioning of components like the cold exhaust, control valves and inlet nozzles. Depending upon the position of cold exhaust, we can call vortex tube as counter-flow or uniflow vortex tube.

Counter-flow

Uni-flow Figure 3 : Counter flow and uni-flow vortex tubes

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If the cold exhaust is placed completely opposite to the hot exhaust, it is called counterflow vortex tube. If the cold exhaust and the hot exhaust are on the same side, it is called a uni-flow vortex tube. From the experimental investigation (T. Cockerill, ), it was found that the performance of the uni-flow vortex tube is inferior to that of the counter-flow vortex tube. So, most of the time, the counter flow geometry was chosen. The literature concerning the design, operation and performance of vortex tubes is extensive, with descriptions first appearing in 1948 (Hilsch, ) with excellent review papers by H. Takahama (1965) ,Boye Ahlborn, Stuart Groves (1997) , and C. M. Gao et. al. (2005). Studies focusing on the role of internal geometry include: Takahama (1960) , Hartnet and Eckert (1976), J. Marshall (1977) , M. H. Saidi (2003) and Eiamsa-ard, S. et.al. (2007). During 1960s, Takahama carried out experimental studies on pressure and temperatures inside the vortex tube and studied the effect of various geometric factors on its energy separation characteristics. In 1977, J. Marshall confirmed experimentally that separation is primarily dependent upon centrifugation. His results appear substantially to indicate in comparing the standard and large tubes that the gas separation performance is the same if the effect of overall pressure drop is considered. In 2003, M. H. Saidi found that generator with more flow intakes causes the cold air temperature and the efficiency of the vortex tube to decrease. Finally, of importance to the work discussed here, several researchers have sought to characterize the internal flow details including the existence of a secondary flow circulation. Specifically, in 1997, Ahlborn and Groves used a pitot tube to observe a secondary flow within the vortex tube. From the measured velocity field they determined that the return flow at the center of the tube is much larger than the cold mass flow emerging out of the cold end. Therefore, the vortex tube must have a secondary circulation imbedded into the primary vortex, which moves fluid from the back flow core to the outer regions. Theoretical Research on vortex tube Theoretical studies have been carried out in parallel with experiments. Most theories are based on results obtained from the related experimental work; some are based on numerical simulations. In 1997 Gutsol and in 2002 Leontev have published detailed reviews about the Ranque Hilsch vortex tube theories. So, the summary on the theories given here will be brief.

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Adiabatic compression and adiabatic expansion model The first explanation was given by Ranque . He hypothesized that the energy separation is due to adiabatic expansion in the central region and adiabatic compression in the peripheral region. In 1947 Hilsch used similar ideas to explain the phenomenon in the vortex tube, but introduced the internal friction between the peripheral and internal gas layers. He used this model to explain his experimental results rather well. Because the process in the vortex tube is not truly adiabatic , this model was later rejected (see Fulton ). Effect of friction and turbulence In 1950, Fulton hypothesized that the energy separation is due to the free and forced vortex flow generated inside the system. He stated that Fresh gas before it has traveled far in the tube succeeds in forming an almost free vortex in which the angular velocity or rpm is low at the periphery and very high toward the center. But friction between the layers of gas undertakes to reduce all the gas to the same angular velocity, as in a solid body. During the internal friction process between the peripheral and central layers, the outer gas in turn gains more kinetic energy than it loses internal energy and this leads to a higher gas temperature in the periphery; the inner gas loses kinetic energy and so the gas temperature is lower. Lay used the potential and forced vortex motion for the vortex tube analysis and proposed via an elegant mathematical formalization that the internal friction effect and turbulence are the main reason for the energy separation. Kreith , Alimov also attributed the friction effect as reason for the energy separation. Reynolds Deissler also pointed out that the energy separation is due to friction and turbulence.Van Deemter in 1951 performed numerical simulation work based on the extended Bernoulli equation. He had similar ideas as Fulton and calculated the temperature profile as scaled by the turbulent Prandtl number. There is a remarkable agreement between his model and Hilschs measuremen ts Deissler , Reynolds, Sibulkin , and Lewellen all presented mathematical analysis based on the turbulent Nevior Stokes (N-S) equation. Based on their analysis, they come to the common conclusion that heat transfer between flow layers by temperature gradients and by pressure gradients due to turbulent mixing, turbulent shear work done on elements are the main reasons for the energy separation. At the authors former university, Xian Jiaotong University, this theory was further investigated with numerical simulation
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method and experimental studies .The work concluded that the energy separation is mainly due to internal friction and turbulence characterized by the turbulent viscosity number. Gutsol summarized many existent Russian theories in the past in a critical review. He proposed a turbulence model with exchange of the microvolumes motion effect to explain the energy separation. Gutsol explained that due to the turbulent motion at the exhaust of the inlet nozzle, turbulent vortex motion exists inside the vortex tube at different layers. Via this turbulent mass transfer an exchange of kinetic energy and heat takes place between fluid layers. This theory is similar to the inner friction theory proposed by Fulton but more mathematical. The internal friction, mentioned in the friction and turbulence models, is the viscous friction between different gas layers. This is different from the roughness and friction mentioned by Paruleker .The friction referred to in Paruleker is the friction between the wall surface and flow. The friction and turbulence models are incomplete. The relationships proposed by different authors include a lot of turbulent parameters, which are difficult to determine and rely on assumptions. Another disadvantage is that the models do not consider geometrical effects. All these difficulties limit the applications of these models. Acoustic streaming model Kurosaka, Chu and Kuroda from the University of Tennessee explained the VT with the phenomenon of acoustic streaming. They focused their research on the fundamental functions of ordered/disordered turbulence and found a relationship between the acoustic resonance frequencies and the forced vortex motion frequency. They proposed that the energy separation inside the vortex tube is due to the damping of the acoustic streaming along the axis of the tube towards the hot exhaust. In 2005, the frequencies found from the spectral analysis (C. M. Gao )on the samples taken by the hot-wire anemometry also have these relationships and indicate the existence of the acoustic phenomena.

Secondary circulation model Ahlborn proposed a secondary circulation model based on his experimental results. He found that the cumulative mass flow over the cross section of the vortex
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tube in the cold end direction is larger than the cold exhaust flow, which implies the existence of a secondary circulation flow in the VT. With this secondary circulation model, the vortex tube can be considered as a classical refrigeration device and the secondary circulation flow can be thought as a classical cycle . The secondary flow pattern has also been noted experimentally by Linderstrom . The main difference among all these secondary flow patterns is whether the secondary flow is a closed cycle or not. Linderstrom-Lang, Fulton, Scheper and Cockerill suggested it as an open cycle, while Ahlborn, Gao, Gutsol, and Aljuwayhel suggested a closed cycle. More detailed analysis on the secondary circulation model is discussed in later Chapters. In summary, as pointed out by van Deemter and Gutsol most of these theories can only either explain their own works and could not match with the others, or could be used for qualitative analysis only. This indicates also that the above theories are incomplete. The above mentioned theories point out two directions of theoretical research, which gives hints for further investigations. One is focusing on thermodynamics (compression and expansion), turbulent flow, viscous friction, internal heat transfer, andacoustics. The other one is concerning the flow pattern, like secondary circulation A study on temperature separation in a large vortex tube Sr. No. 1 D (Inner L (Length) Fluid Dia.) ft. ft. Tatsuo Amitani 1983 2.62 Blast furnace exhaust gas 2 Tatsuo Amitani 1983 0.51 7.38 Blast furnace exhaust gas and air 3 H. Takahama 1965 0.26 5.20 air 4 H. Takahama 1979 0.06 3.42 air 5 M. Sibulkin 1961 0.13 3.00 air 6 H. Takahama 1980 0.18 2.00 air 7 H. Bruun 1969 0.31 1.73 air 8 K. Stephan 1983 0.06 1.17 air 9 M. Saidi 2003 0.06 0.93 air 10 Exair Corp. 2004-08 0.08 0.83 air Table 2:- Lengths and diameters of the vortex tubes used by other researchers
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Author

Year

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The largest obstacle in using vortex tube for waste pressure utilization in industrial systems is its physical size. The largest vortex tube which is available commercially today is 0.83 ft long (L) and 0.08 ft in diameter (D). In table 2, we have listed lengths and diameters of the vortex tubes used by other researchers. The largest vortex tube ever used in the lab for research purpose was by Tatsuo Amitani in year 1983. Interestingly, he used this largest sized test apparatus in a blast furnace to utilize the waste pressure in the form of pressurized blast furnace flue gases. He used two different sized vortex tubes, one was ~ 21 feet long and another was 7 feet long. Figure 5 shows a variation in efficiency of the vortex tube with cold fraction for 7 feet long vortex tube. He compared his results with Takahamas results. It can be observed from the figure that refrigeration [()] and heating efficiencies [(1-)] of the vortex tube drops by a small amount if we use hot flue gases coming out of the blast furnace.

Figure 4: Comparison between Amitani s and


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Takahamas experimental work.

Where T is the temperature (Th or Tc), Ttni is the total temperature before the nozzle, Tns is the adiabatic temperature drop to the nozzle outlet pressure, and Tns is the adiabatic temperature drop from the nozzle outlet pressure to atmospheric pressure. But the important point is energy separation can be achieved by using 21 and 7 feet long vortex tubes. Hence, if we need to construct large vortex tubes for utilizing industrial waste pressure energies with large mass flows but less pressure magnitudes its feasible. Amitanis (1983) work is preliminary in nature and lots of progress needs to be done to develop large sized vortex tube systems. Current research findings are not sufficient to address completely some design related issues, role of compressibility, turbulence and swirl intensity on the size limit of vortex tube. Literature on axial and radial stagnation points inside vortex tube . In 1997, Ahlborn and Groves used a pitot tube to observe a secondary flow within the vortex tube. From the measured velocity field they determined that the return flow at the center of the tube is much larger than the cold mass flow emerging out of the cold end. Therefore, the vortex tube must have a secondary circulation imbedded into the primary vortex, which moves fluid from the back flow core to the outer regions. Along with the existence of secondary flow, they also found that the location of an axial stagnation point (a point where axial flow changes direction) depends upon the cold fraction. Please note that the cold fraction is the function of the frictional coefficient (kvalue) of the hot fraction control valve at constant inlet pressure. For low cold fractions (Y = cf zero) stagnation point is located near the inlet region of the vortex tube and it moves downstream as cold fraction increases (Y =cf 1). Figure 7 is showing their quantitative results for the azimuthal and axial velocity components for z = 0.007 to 0.5L.

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Figure 5: Observation made by Ahlborn and Groves (1997) [Azimuthal and axial velocity components at z = 0.007L and z = 0.5L for various mass flow ratios.]

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It can be observed from the figure 7 that for z = 0.007L and for cold fractions (Y) almost equal to zero, we have elbow type of flow inside the vortex tube and the axial stagnation point is located somewhere near the inlet region. As cold fraction increases, larger portion of the central core gets negative axial velocity. Negative axial velocity means flow is going towards cold end side and axial stagnation point is located somewhere in the downstream region (z > 0.5L). In year 2005, C. M . Gao did similar experiments on vortex tube. In order to investigate pressures, temperatures and flow structure inside the vortex tube, C.M. Gao and et.al built a simple vortex tube and used pitot tube for their measurements. Based on their experimental results, they claimed the existence of secondary circulating region inside the vortex tube. The Ranque - Hilsch Vortex Tube In the 19th century British physicist James Maxwell suggested that a system of drawing both hot and cold water out of a single pipe might be devised if we could capture a small demon and train him to open and close a tiny valve. The demon would open the valve only when a fast (hot) molecule approached it, and close the valve against slow (cold) molecules . This imaginary device, and with the help of Maxwell's demon, could be a source of hot and cold fluids on demand from ambient temperatures. Although hypothesising, Maxwell may have been startled to know that within the next century such a device would become a reality. This device which initially bared the nickname Maxwell's Demon Tube, was soon to be known as its name today, the RHVT. The cross sectional schematic shown overleaf Fig. illustrates quite clearly that the RHVT is a device that does indeed separate simultaneously a flow of gas into two streams, significantly hotter and cooler than the inlet temperature, despite the absence of any moving parts or work input, electrically or chemically. This lack of a conventional energy source is in principle the core reason as to why there is so much interest in the device through academics and enthusiasts alike. Ranque.s Contribution One of the most comprehensive historical documents detailing the chain of events leading to and analysing the discovery of the RHVT was documented by C.D. Fulton shortly after Ranque and Hilsch's findings. Fulton ascertained that when
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.Ranque, the discoverer of this technology, presented himself before the Socit Francaise de Physique in June 1933 and told his audience that hot and cold air came out of opposite ends of a simple piece of pipe, (he) was received with scepticism... Aerodynamicists at the time simply came to the conclusion that stagnation temperature had been confused with static temperature; the two streams weren't really cold and hot. . The illustration below, along with others in this passage, have been obtained directly from Ranque's patent.

Fig. 6: Cross-Section of Ranque.s Vortex Tube Design . The first published record of the principle of the RHVT phenomenon occurred on 12th December 1931, when Ranque filed a French patent docket. After the French patent issued in 1931, he filed the same docket in the United States as previously mentioned. In this patent Ranque showed that the tangential entrance may consist of a single nozzle, a plurality of nozzles, or a set of blades. He also described how, by adjusting the size of the cold-air orifice or the restriction at the end of the hot tube, one may obtain a small quantity of moderately cold air, and mentioned that the temperature of the hot tube reaches its maximum when the end of the hot tube is entirely closed, and that the higher the pressure of the air supplied, the colder the cold air will be. Furthermore Ranque spoke of having measured the pressure distribution inside the tube, a task which is very much easier said than done, as illustrated in his work. The theory Ranque gives in the United States patent, was stated as follows, The rotating gas spreads out in a thick sheet on the wall of the tube and the inner layers of this sheet press upon the outer layers by centrifugal

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force and compress them, thus heating them. At the same time the inner layers expand and grow cold. Friction between the layers is to be minimised. . Hilsch.s Contribution It is thought that Hilsch, physicist of the University of Erlangen, got to know of this device due to information supplied to him from occupied France . Hilsch published an article in 1946 and in it he refers briefly to Ranque's paper of 1933 as the source of the idea, but it seems that he had not learned of the patent. He had arrived nevertheless at exactly the same design shown in certain of Ranque's drawings. In this article Hilsch wrote: .The air passing through the orifice has been expanded in the centrifugal field from the region of high pressure at the wall of the tube to a low pressure near the axis. During this expansion it gives considerable part of its kinetic energy to the peripheral layers through increased friction. The peripheral layers then flow away with increased temperature..The internal friction..causes a flow of energy from the axis to the circumference by trying to establish a uniform angular velocity across the entire cross section of the tube. Following Hilsch, nearly everyone has used similar counter-flow designs to the complete neglect of the uniflow type, as shown for example in Fig. 7 below. This is in part to the fact that a counter-flow type is easier to manufacture and offers two distinct hot and cold outlets at opposite ends of the tube where the thermal output of each cannot interfere with each other. As a consequence of this, the counter flow design is the primary focus of this project.

Fig. 7: Cross Section of a Uniflow RHVT .

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Summary of Literature Review The working fluids (air, CO2, methane, etc) and their compressibility properties play crucial roles in the operation of vortex tube system. By selecting the appropriate working media, the performance of the vortex tube system can be optimized. As long as the waste pressure energy is in the form of non-condensable gases, inert gases or liquid vapors (all compressible gases), the vortex tube can be used to utilize this waste energy for some useful and economic purposes. Many researchers observed that the performance of the uni-flow vortex tube is inferior to that of the counter-flow vortex tube. Hence during all of our experimental work, we used the counter-flow type of vortex tube. The largest obstacle in using vortex tubes for waste pressure utilization in industrial systems is their physical size. Work done by the previous researchers is preliminary in nature and lots of progress needs to be done to develop large sized vortex tube systems. Current research findings are not sufficient to address completely some design related issues, role of compressibility, turbulence and swirl intensity on the size limit of vortex tube. Previously reported vortex tubes were mostly operated at high entrance pressures (>10 psig) and the pressures never dropped closer to or below one atmosphere. In various industrial systems, magnitudes of waste pressure may be lower but may have significant mass flow rates. It is important to make sure that vortex tube provides the required energy separation while harnessing the low pressure but high mass flow rate waste energy and utilizing it for heating or cooling purposes. Experimental observations in the past (S. Nimbalkar, 2005 ) show that in the low inlet pressure regime, vortex tubes behave differently and produce multiple flow structures (like Venture flow, Elbow flow or T-flow) rather than the expected recirculating cold stream and the columnar hot stream (VT-flow). Our initial speculation is that the existence of multiple flow structures inside the vortex tube is related to the relocation of an axial stagnation point.

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Theoretical Analysis

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RANQUE-HILSCH VORTEX TUBE


The concept of the vortex tube was first conceived by the nineteenth century physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. In 1867 Maxwell imagined that someday we might be able to get hot and cold air from the same device with the help of a friendly little demon who would separate the hot and cold air molecules (Cockreill, 1995). This friendly little demon became known as Maxwells demon. The first vortex tube was actually invented by accident by a French metallurgist and physicist, George Ranque in 1928. While experimenting with a vortex pipe he discovered that warm air is exhausted from one side of the tube and cold air from the other (Ranque, 1933). His findings were however received with disbelief and apathy by the scientific community, and since the vortex tube was very thermodynamically inefficient, it was abandoned as a useful source of refrigeration. The first experimental test results of a vortex tube were published by German engineer Rudolph Hilsch in 1945. He reported an account of his own experimental studies aimed at improving the thermodynamic efficiency of the vortex tube (Hilsch, 1947). Hilsch examined the effect of the geometrical parameters of the tube on its performance and also proposed an explanation for the temperature separation. After World War II Hilschs documents and vortex tubes were found and this was the starting point for further studies and experiments on the vortex tube. In memory of the two founding scientists that discovered and first studied the vortex tube, it is known today as the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube. Since the publication of Hilschs studies, the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube has been the subject of much interest and many studies have been conducted in an attempt to explain, using physical principles, the mechanism whereby the temperature difference between the two outlet streams, the one hotter and the other colder than the inlet temperature, is indeed achieved. This temperature difference is commonly called temperature separation. Research studies attempting to explain this physical phenomenon fall into two groups: experimental work and numerical work. The first group focuses on the geometric and thermo-physical parameters of the vortex tube and the second group focuses on qualitative, analytical and numerical analyses. These two groups will be discussed separately in the following two subsections

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Evaluation of the Considered Separation Technique:


Before exploring current published research papers, theses, articles etc. on the RHVT it is important to have the fundamental aspects of the device understood and in place. These basic understandings of the RHVT draw from the well established principles of Thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, and it will be shown that the heat migration within the RHVT is not in conflict with long accepted aspects of both these engineering disciplines. Basic Description of vortex tube and how it works Energy separation inside vortex tube Energy separation is the re-distribution of the total energy in a fluid flow without external work or heat, so that some portion of the fluid has higher and other portion has lower total energy than the surrounding fluid. Since this interesting phenomenon was first observed in the 1930s , many researchers have reported that energy separation could be observed in various flow situations like impinging jets, boundary layer flow past a cylinder and simple boundary layer flow over a flat plate. However, the detailed mechanism of energy separation is not fully understood yet. In the present study, instantaneous mechanism of energy separation is explained in a vortex tube by both theoretical and experimental methods. Fluid dynamics behind vortex tube Energy separation in the Ranque-Hilsch tube can be accounted for by two phenomena. Firstly, the formation of an approximately forced vortex near the tangential inlets to the tube initially provides a kinetic energy separation, the peripheral gas having a much higher velocity than that near the centre.

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Secondly the strong radial pressure gradient produced by the forced vortex enables turbulent fluctuations to transport thermal energy radially outwards and re-enforce the existing energy separation until the thermal and pressure gradients have come into equilibrium The effects of the two processes are modified by axial convection and by viscous dissipation of the kinetic energy of the flow to produce the characteristic distributions found within the vortex tube. Axial convection extends the turbulent thermal transport process over a significant length of the tube, and is responsible for the observed axial development of the energy separation. Viscous dissipation converts the kinetic energy separation into a thermal separation, and serves to produce a temperature rise in both the hot and cold streams as their kinetic energy is reduced.

Figure 8: Schematic illustration of the thermal conductivity due to the pressure gradient.

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The energy separation is maintained by the flow so long as the swirl is strong enough to provide a substantial radial pressure gradient to help offset the effects of turbulent conduction. As the swirl decays, for example towards the end of a uniflow tube, the energy separation declines. Such an explanation is consistent with many observed features of vortex tubes, essentially attributing the existence of a radial stagnation enthalpy gradient to the formation of a forced vortex, and the cooling of the central flow below the inlet temperature to a turbulent transport process that depends on the compressibility of the fluid. In particular it would explain why a vortex tube operated on high pressure water produces an energy separation, but with no net cooling of the central flow (Balmer ). Thermodynamics of the Ranque . Hilsch Vortex Tube When first introduced to vortex tube technology, it would appear that there has been a violation of the laws of thermodynamics. It would seem that there is an internal heat flux without any work input. As in any refrigeration process, work input is paramount to its operation. Herein lies the crux of the problem, and the almost century long quest to fully understand the operation of the tube. The First Law of Thermodynamics can be written as follows, .When a system undergoes a thermodynamic cycle then the net heat supplied to the surroundings plus the net work input to the system from its surroundings is equal to zero. Mathematically this statement is written as:

where Q and W denote the heat supplied and work input to the system respectively. From this First Law the steady flow energy equation can be applied to the RHVT's Boundary. Resulting in an equation of the following form: ( (
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) ) ( )

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where , U, Z, Q and W denote the mass flow rate, the total enthalpy, the static enthalpy, the velocity vector, the height above the datum, the rate of heat and work inputs supplied respectively, and the subscripts in, c and h denote the inlet, cold and hot outlets respectively. By using some simple elimination of a few equal and negligible terms, the steady flow energy equation reduces to a reversed adiabatic mixing equation with use of the following steps: 1. Combining static enthalpies and kinetic energies into total enthalpy. 2. Acknowledging that the potential energies at each point are approximately the same. 3. There is no heat or work input. The reversed adiabatic mixing equation is as follows, and it shows that the RHVT does indeed satisfy the first law, as energy is conserved:

This can be reduced further by introducing the ratio used to describe the ratios of cold and hot gas flows as compared to the supplied gas flow; this ratio is called the cold gas fraction:

which is easily recognised by dividing Equation by the inlet mass flux,

If the gas flowing through the RHVT is treated approximately as an ideal gas and changes in kinetic energy are neglected we can write the above conservation equation as follows: +(1- ) where and are the specific heat capacity at constant pressure and the total temperature respectively. Dividing across by , we get:

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results in a rather simplistic energy balance equation, but it does illustrate quite clearly that when considered as a system with boundaries the RHVT does indeed satisfy basic thermodynamic rules. A much broader perspective of the system needs to be conducted to show that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is satisfied, i.e. that it is impossible to construct a device that operating in a cycle will produce no effect other than the transfer of heat from a cooler to a hotter body. .

Fig.9 : Complete Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube System Including Compressed Air Supply As there is no mechanical work input to a RHVT, and yet there is a heat flux, to obey the above two classic laws of thermodynamics; there must be a supply of work of some other form. The source of this work has been the main argument since the establishment of this technology.
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Analysis of the complete RHVT system from the source of the flow potential, as in the compressor supply, to the exit of the two streams of hot and cold air, gains a different perspective. The system is now viewed from the suction of atmospheric air through the compressor, channelled through the supply piping and back to the atmosphere, through both exits of the RHVT. It is now is easier to see that the RHVT does indeed satisfy the second law above, and that equilibrium is indeed maintained, in that the compressed air does indeed return to atmospheric conditions, once it has completed its cycle. Fig shows the RHVT as a complete system does indeed satisfy the second law of thermodynamics Experimental Studies There are many theories as to how the temperature separation takes place, but no theory has yet been developed to explain the complete phenomenon of the RHVT. Mostly, the geometric parameters and operating conditions of the RHVT leading to the temperature separation effect have been experimentally examined. Temperature Separation While there may and indeed are many different theories as to how the temperature separation in the RHVT takes place, only the following three will be considered: i) the viscous-shear theory, ii) the secondary flow theory and iii) the refrigeration cycle theory. Following these theories, further experimental work done on the RHVT with regards to geometric parameters and operating conditions will be discussed. i) Viscous-Shear Theory The viscous-shear theory suggests, in essence, that the swirling gas in the RHVT consists of concentric layers which have different angular velocities. The angular velocity of the different gas layers increase towards the centre of the vortex (conservation of angular momentum).The result of this is a shearing effect between these gas layers which leads to energy being transferred from the inner to the outer layers.

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A structure for visualizing large-scale structures in an aerodynamic flow was developed by Arbuzov et al. (1997), and by using the Hilbert colour method visualized the swirling flows within the RHVT. Arbuzov et al. concluded that there are four possiblemechanisms that could be responsible for the temperature separation in the RHVT: i) Small-scale localized vortices are formed within the large-scale vortex, and these vortices are responsible for the convective heat transfer between the fluid particles. ii) Barothermal effects, heat transfer due to a pressure gradient, iii) Heat exchange between the fluid and the walls of the RHVT and iv) Heating of the fluid due to viscous dissipation of kinetic energy. They concluded, however, that the most likely mechanism responsible for the temperature separation is the viscous heating of the fluid in a thin boundary layer at the walls of the RHVT and the cooling of the fluid at the centre of the RHVT due to the formation of a vortex braid, which lowers the pressure along the RHVT axis and thus cools the fluid. This theory was supported by Wu et al. (2006) who also concluded that the temperature separation is due to the energy transfer caused by fluid viscosity at different radii. Lewins and Benjan (1999) suggested that angular velocity gradients in the radial direction of the flow give rise to frictional couplings between different layers which results in shear work between these layers and hence the transfer of energy from the inner to the outer layers. Trofimov (2000) verified that the internal angular momentum of the RHVT leads to the effect suggested by Lewins and Benjan (1999). ii) Secondary Flow Theory Another popular theory is that there exists a secondary flow within the RHVT which is responsible for the temperature separation as postulated by Ahlborn and Groves (1997). Ahlborn and Groves used a novel pitot tube to measure the axial and tangential velocities in a vortex tube and found a secondary circulation within the RHVT in the axial direction. They concluded that this secondary circulation has the potential to convect energy from the inner cold air stream to the outer hot air stream. A sketch of the secondary flow pattern can be seen in Figure 7. Visual and numerical simulations were conducted by Sohn et al. (2002) to investigate the temperature separation in a counter-flow RHVT using surface-tracing methods and
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found that four secondary flows existed near the cold exit and that these flows induced compression and expansion in the vortex tube similar to that of a refrigeration cycle. Evidence of this secondary circulation was also found by Gao et al. (2005)

Figure 10-Secondary flow in a RHVT (Ahlborn and Groves, 1997) iii) Refrigeration Cycle Theory Another theory postulated by Ahlborn and Gordon (2000) is that the secondary flow in the RHVT acts as a classic refrigeration cycle complete with refrigerant and coolant loops, expansion and compression, heat exchangers and significant temperature splitting (see Figure 8). Referring to Figure 8, the four different branches of the refrigeration loop (that can be compared to the four branches of conventional mechanical coolers) can be explained as follows: (a) Heat rejection (4 1): Near the flow inlet the hotter gas in the secondary circulation rejects heat into the cooler gas in the primary circulation (b) Adiabatic expansion (1 2 3): The fluid moves from the heat exchange region (1) towards the hot outlet of the RHVT (2) and then turns inwards to the central flow core (3). The pressure at point 2 must therefore be higher than at point 3, and the gas in the secondary loop expands adiabatically. (c) Energy absorption (3 c): This is the refrigeration branch of the flow in which the fluid cools by transferring heat from the primary circulation to the secondary circulation.
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(d) Adiabatic compression (c 4): The axial acceleration caused by the primary circulation provides enough mechanical energy to push the secondary circulation radially outwards, where it is recompressed as it moves to point 4.

Figure 11 : The RHVT as a classic refrigeration cycle: 4 1 ,Heat rejection, 1 2 3 ,Adiabatic expansion, 3 c Energy absorption, c 4 Adiabatic compression. iv) Further experimental studies As stated, much experimental work has also been done to examine the influence of geometric parameters and operating conditions on the temperature separation effect of the RHVT rather than postulate a theory as to how the temperature separation manifests itself. A few of these studies will now be discussed. Ting-Quan et al. (2002) tested the performance of the RHVT temperature separation under different operating conditions. It was found that the inlet pressure greatly influences the temperature separation performance while the effect of the inlet temperature was negligible. It was found that with an increased inlet pressure the greater the difference in temperature between the hot and cold outlets. Furthermore the results

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showed that the optimum temperature separation effect can be achieved by varying the cold volume fraction, defined as

,between 70 80 %.

In 2004 Shannak (2004) measured the hot and cold exit temperatures as well as the friction factors within the RHVT experimentally. His results show that the hot outlet air temperature increases with an increase in cold mass fraction to 0.82, and that the cold outlet air stream temperature decreases with a decrease in the cold air mass fraction up to 0.3. For cold air mass fractions greater than 0.82 and less than 0.3 the effects are reversed and the hot air stream tends to decrease in temperature, while the cold air stream increases in temperature. In 2005 Promvonge and Eiamsa-ard (2005) studied the effect of the number of inlet nozzles and cold outlet diameter on the temperature separation phenomenon. Their results showed that a higher temperature separation was achieved with an increase in the number of inlet nozzles. They also found that a small cold outlet diameter resulted in high back pressures whereas a large cold outlet resulted in lower temperature separation. Singh et al. (2004) carried out experiments in order to understand the heat transfer characteristics in a RHVT with respect to parameters such as the inlet nozzle area, cold and hot outlet areas and length to diameter ratios. They investigated the effect of these parameters on two different RHVT designs: a maximum temperature drop RHVT and a maximum cooling effect (which was designed for producing large quantities of air at moderate temperatures). The results showed that the cold mass fraction and adiabatic efficiency (

) are more influenced by the size of

the cold outlet than the size of the inlet nozzle. Singh also found that the length of the tube has no effect on the performance when it is increased beyond 45 times the diameter of the tube. Analytical and Numerical Studies In this section the analytical and numerical studies done on the RHVT are reported and will be discussed separately. The analytical and numerical studies that have been done on the RHVT up to date are only on the temperature separation
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mechanism in the RHVT and therefore only this mechanism will be discussed in this section.

Analytical Studies Following Hilschs initial analytical model, Kassner and Knoernschild (1948) applied their laws of shear stress in circular flows theory. Their law states that the shear stress is a function of the shear velocity

(
where is shear stress,

) ) is the shear velocity

is the fluid viscosity and (

as defined in the text. They hypothesized that the initial flow in the RHVT is a free vortex due to the law of constant angular momentum ( = constant). A free vortex occurs when the velocity varies inversely as the distance from the centre of the tube increases so that the angular momentum stays constant. This free vortex leads to a pressure distribution which causes an adiabatic expansion leading to a low temperature in the region of lower pressure, which is at the centre of the vortex. Due to shear stresses, the flow down the tube, towards the hot exit valve, changes from a free to a forced vortex. The difference between a free and forced vortex are described using Figure. In Figure it can be seen that within a forced vortex the tangential velocity is directly proportional to the radial location r, and in free vortex the tangential velocity is inversely proportional to the square of the radial location. This change in flow from a free to a forced vortex causes kinetic energy to flow radially outward. This forms a radial pressure gradient which in turn causes a temperature gradient. The kinetic energy is transported along this temperature gradient which leads to even lower temperatures at the centre of the RHVT. According to Reynolds (1961) this is the most widely favoured explanation of the RHVT temperature separation effect.

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Figure 12:- Forced and free vortices Kap-Jong et al. (2004) proposed a similar model. Their model predicts that the vortex flows are generated as illustrated in Figure 10. Due to the friction between the gas and the inner surface of the vortex tube, the angular velocity is lower in the outer flow region than in the inner flow region, which leads to the formation of the free vortex in the outer flow region. As the flow moves to the hot outlet it is throttled by the cone valve (as illustrated in Figure 5a) and changes to a forced vortex in the central core. Deissler and Perlmutter (1960) considered an axisymmetrical model in which they divided the vortex into a core and an annular region, each with different but uniform axial mass velocities. They concluded from their analytical studies that the turbulent energy transfer to a fluid element is the most important factor affecting the elements total temperature. This prediction was in close agreement to the experimental results of Hilsch (1947). Linderstrom-Lang (1971) examined analytically the thermal and velocity fields in the RHVT. Using the momentum equation developed by Lewellen (1962) he calculated the axial and radial gradients of the tangential velocity profile. These results correlated qualitatively with his experimental measurements.Stephan, et al. (1984) derived a mathematical model for the temperature separation process but could not solve the equation because the system of equations was too complex. These equations, however, did lead to a similarity relation for the prediction of the cold gas temperature that agreed with their dimensional analysis results.

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Figure 13: Cross-section of vortex tube showing free and forced vortex flows (Kap-Jonget al., 2004)

Numerical Studies Many numerical studies have been done on the RHVT but few have given results regarding the temperature separation mechanism. During the investigation it was also found that almost none of the findings are in agreement with each other, unlike the analytical and experimental studies in which there was some agreement. Those numerical studies that were in agreement with other experimental or analytical studies and that postulated a theory as to how the temperature separation mechanism works are now discussed. Numerical studies were conducted by Behera et al. (2008) who developed a three dimensional numerical model of the RHVT using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), together with the Renormalization Group (RNG) turbulence model to analyse flow parameters and the temperature separation mechanism. The flow parameters (velocity, temperature and pressure) were determined by tracking different particles moving through the flow from the inlet to the hot and cold outlets. By investigating the flow field and taking fluid
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property variation into account they found that the angular velocity decreases radially outwards. They proposed that this velocity gradient leads to the transfer of work from the fast moving inner layers to the slower moving outer layers.This theory also supports Hilschs original temperature separation theory from 1947 as well as the viscous shear theory discussed earlier.

Working medium The first study on the separation of mixtures with the RHVT were published in 1967 by Linderstrom-Lang and in 1977 by Marshall . The gas mixtures (oxygen and nitrogen, carbon dioxide and helium, carbon dioxide and air, and other mixtures) were used as working medium in their work. In 2001 the RHVT system was used for carbon-dioxide separation by Kevin . In 2002 the RHVT system was used to enrich the concentration of methane by Manohar . In 2004, natural gas was used as working medium and with the RHVT natural gas was liquified by Poshernev . In 1979 steam was used as working medium by Takahama. In 1979, two-phase propane was used as the working medium by Collins . It was found that when the degree of dryness1 of the liquid and gaseous propane is higher than 0.80, a significant temperature difference maintains. With two-phase working medium, the degree of dryness is an important parameter, when the degree of dryness is larger than some critical value, energy separation occurs. In 1988 Balmer applied liquid water as the working medium. It was found that when the inlet pressure is high, for instance 2050 bar, the energy separation effect still exists. So it proves that the energy separation process exists in incompressible vortex flow as well. From the above investigations it was found that the working media is very important in the operation of the RHVT system. By applying different working media, the performance of the system can be optimized or the RHVT can be used for purposes directly related to the working medium, like gas separations, liquefying natural gas .

Geometry Aspects of the geometry concerns the positioning of components like the cold exhaust, control valves and inlet nozzles. For the positioning of the cold exhaust, there are two different types of RHVT systems proposed by Ranque : counterflow
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RHVT system and uniflow RHVT system .When the cold exhaust is placed on the other side from the hot exhaust, it is called counterflow. When the cold exhaust is placed at the same side of the hot exhaust, it is named uniflow. From the experimental investigation .it was found that the performance of the uniflow system is worse than that of the counterflow system. So, most of the time, the counterflow geometry was chosen. Hilsch was the first to investigate the effect of the geometry on the performance of the RHVT system.

Figure 14: Schematic drawing of the uniflow RHVT system. The effects of the placement of the control valves, and the inlet nozzles on the performance are discussed by Linderstrom-Lang in . In 1955, Westley experimentally optimized the geometry of the RHVT system. He found that the optimum situation can be described by a relationship between the injection area, the tube length, the vortex tube cross sectional area, the cold end orifice area and the inlet pressure. The relationship is the following:

0.167,

0.156+0.176/ , and

=7.5

where Ac is the flow area of the cold exhaust, Avt is the flow area of the vortex tube, Ain is the flow area of the inlet nozzle, pin is the inlet pressure and pc is the cold exhaust pressure. Since the 1960s, Takahama published a series of papers on the RHVT. He found that if the Mach number at the exhaust of the inlet nozzle reaches 0.5, the geometry should have the following relationship in order to have larger temperature differences or larger refrigeration capacity:

=0.2,
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=0.08 0.17,

=2.3

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where Din is the diameter of the injection tube and Dvt is the diameter of the vortex tube. In 1969, Soni published a study on the RHVT system considering 170 different tubes and described the optimal performance by utilizing the Evolutionary Operation Technique In that work, he proposed the following relationships between the design parameters.

=0.084 0.11,

=0.8 0.145,

>45

where Lvt is the length of the vortex tube. It can be found that all the dimensionless quantities listed above have the same order of magnitude as proposed by Westley and Takahama. In 1974, Raiskii conformed the relationships experimentally. Another type of geometry is the conical vortex tube (or divergent vortex tube). In 1961, Paruleker designed a short conical vortex tube. By varying the conical angle of the vortex tube, he found that the parameter Lvt/Dvt can be as small as 3. He found that the roughness of the inner surface of the tube has influence on its performance as well: any roughness element on the inner surface of tube will decrease the performance of the system (based on the temperature difference) up to 20%. He suggested that the designs of the vortex chamber and the inlet nozzle are very important, he mentioned that the inlet nozzle should have an Archimedean spiral shape and its cross section should be slotted. The inlet nozzle in the form of a slot was also suggested by Reynolds in 1960. In 1966, Gulyaev did more research on the conical vortex tube. He found that the vortex tube with a conical angle of about 2.3 surpassed the best cylinder tube by 20%25% for the thermal efficiency and the refrigeration capacity. In 1968, Borisenko found that the optimum conical angle for the conical vortex tube should be 3o. The conical vortex tube was further investigated by Poshernev in 2003 and 2004 for chemical applications. In order to shorten the tube length, Takahama introduced the divergent vortex tube (in fact the ame as the conical vortex tube but with a different name) in 1981. This divergent vortex tube can reach the same performance as the normal tube but with a smaller length. Because within the divergent tube, the cross sectional area increases to the hot end, the gradient of the gas axial velocity decreases. He suggested that the divergence angle should be in the range 1.7 5.1. With all research on divergent vortex tubes, it can be found that there exists an optimal conical angle and this angle is very small. When the
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flow swirls to the hot end, the cross section area increases, so the azimuthal motion is slowed down along its path. A detwister is some kind of vortex stopper, which can be used to block the vortex motion at the exhausts. By applying the detwister, in front of the gas exhausts, the vortex motion inside dies out, so the detwister is an important improvement of the design of the vortex tube. Initially the detwister was mounted near the hot exhaust (sometimes also put close to the cold end). The detwister was proposed by Grodzovskii in 1954, Merkulov in 1969, and James in 1972. In 1989 Dyskin concluded that the hot-end detwister can improve the performance of the RHVT system and shorten the tube length; the cold-end detwister has the same positive effect on the efficiency. Further investigation shows that detwisters, placed inside the vortex tube, blocked the swirling flow to the exhausts, generated turbulence and destroyed the azimuthal motion. In 1996, Piralishvili and Polyaev introduced a new type of vortex tube: the Double- Circuit vortex tube with a conical tube to improve the performance, as shown in Fig. At the hot end, in the center of the control valve, there is an orifice which allows feedback gas to be injected into the vortex tube. The feedback gas has the same temperature as the inlet gas but with low pressure. With this design, the cooling power of the system is increased and the performance of the vortex tube is improved.

Figure 15(a): Schematic drawing of the conical vortex tube. Figure 15(b): Schematic drawing of the Double-Circuit Vortex Tube.

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In practice, multiple stage vortex tube systems have been introduced for improving the performance. A two-stage vortex tube system was built up in 2001 by Guillaume and Jolly .They found that the temperature difference at each stage is larger than that generated by the single stage vortex tube under the same operation conditions. The strong noise level, created by the system, indicates the existence of sound inside the RHVT. In order to reduce the sound level and convert the acoustic energy into heat, in 1982, Kurosaka , Chu and Kuroda in 1983 [introduced an acoustic muffler]. They found that with the muffler the performance of the system was better than without. Now commercial vortex tubes are manufactured by ITW Vortex, Exair, etc. They apply the ideas of the detwister, conical tube, and acoustic muffler.

Turbulence The analysis of any fluid flow domain is generally classified by two different fluid flow regimes that have been termed laminar and turbulent flow. In a laminar flows particles of fluid move smoothly along well defined, relatively simple paths, or in layers without mixing. Turbulent flows on the other hand have pronounced random, chaotic characteristics with much particle mixing, and are best defined in terms of their statistical properties such as averages and deviations from that average. Generally, it can be expected that very slow flows are laminar and the viscous stresses produced, play a very important retarding part in governing the flow. As the speed of the flow is increased most flows become unstable and change to a turbulent nature, where inertial forces play a significant role in displacing this fluid. When the motion of a fluid particle is disturbed, its inertia will tend to carry it on in the new direction, but the viscous forces due to the surrounding fluid will tend to make it conform to the motion of the rest of the stream. In a laminar flow the viscous shear stresses are sufficient to eliminate the effect of these deviations; however in turbulent flow they are inadequate. The criterion which determines whether flow will be laminar or turbulent is therefore the ratio of the inertial force to the viscous force acting on the particle, this ratio is known as the Reynolds number, and is given as: Re=
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where for this case L is the length of the region of interest respectively. Experimentation can yield values of Reynolds number at which transition to turbulence occurs. Turbulent flows occur more frequently in nature and in many instances a turbulent flow is preferable to a laminar flow as particles of fluid which are initially separated by a long distance can be brought closer together by the eddying motions in turbulent flows as can be seen for example in Fig.16 below. As a consequence, heat, mass and momentum are very effectively exchanged.

Fig.16: Magnified view of a Turbulent Boundary Layer The random nature of a turbulent flow renders computations based on a complete description of the motion of all the fluid particles impossible. Instead the velocity and other properties of the fluid are decomposed into a steady mean value with a fluctuating component superimposed on it.

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THEORETICAL MODELLING :
The theoretical analysis done in this project was done to gain a better understanding as to how the temperature happens inside the RHVT. An analytical analysis was done using the conservation equations and basic thermo physical principles to macroscopically model of the flow.

Temperature Separation :
Referring to Figure the flow within a RHVT can be described thus: The compressed fluid enters the cylindrical tube from the supply tube through one or more narrow inclined nozzles and then tends to flow in a rotational -direction about the longitudinal z-axis. This rotational flow is termed a vortex. At the other end of the cylindrical tube, the flow control device diverts the flow into two streams, an outer stream , through the annular area between the cylindrical tube inner wall and the flow control device and an inner central stream , which exits at the opposite end of the tube through a centrally located orifice. Under favourable geometric and operating conditions the outer stream, created by the flow control device, and exhausting from the outer peripheral opening is hotter than the inlet stream, whilst the centrally exiting stream is colder than the inlet stream. This change in temperature is loosely termed temperature separation and is characterized by the cold volume fraction (defined as = ). With a decrease in volume fraction the cold stream air temperature decreases and the hot stream temperature also decreases. Similarly when the volume fraction increases, the hot stream temperature increases and the cold stream temperature also increase. To explain the rotational flow in the RHVT, the r- plane of Figure 17 may be considered as a result of two coaxial rotating cylinders, with the area between the outer cylinder and the wall of the inner cylinder representing the hot air stream and the area inside the inner cylinder representing the cold air stream, as illustrated in Figure 18. The wall of the inner cylinder may be considered porous so that the flow can pass through unhindered. Both cylinders are rotating in the same direction with an angular velocity F and an outer cylinder radius of R.
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Figure 17: Flow in a RHVT

The following assumptions are then made: Steady state Turbulent flow Compressible flow Fluid moves in circular pattern ( with and No pressure gradient in the - direction Gravity is negligible

zero)

The velocity distribution is determined by solving the conservation equations of continuity and momentum (Bird et al., 2002). Applying the aforementioned assumptions to the equation of continuity in cylindrical coordinates

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Figure 18 : The r- plane of the RHVT (Figure 19) as two rotating coaxial cylinders

+
gives

=0

=0

For above equation to be valid both terms of the equation must equal 0. Therefore

= 0 and

=0

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The equations of momentum in cylindrical coordinates in the r, z and direction are

+ )+ + +

+ (

) +

+ ( +

)= )] + )= +

+[ ( (

[ ]+

]+

Taking all assumptions and the zero terms of the continuity equation into account, the equations of momentum reduce to: r component

=
0= 0=

component

z component

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These equations do not include the source terms for turbulence. It is assumed that the flow within the RHVT is turbulent; therefore turbulence must be accounted for. Turbulent flow is characterized by complex eddying motion which causes fluctuations in the velocity components, pressure and temperature of the flow. It was decided to account for turbulence by using an effective viscosity term. In turbulent flow the effective viscosity is defined as = + ; where is the molecular viscosity and is the turbulent viscosity (Mills, 1999). The turbulent viscosity term accounts for the fluctuations in the velocity components due to momentum
transport by the eddies (Mills,

1999). A simple model for the effective viscosity distribution in the r- plane of the RHVT flow was assumed to be = + =

where and b are arbitrary constants and b < 1. This model assumes that the viscosity increases from the centre of the flow to the outer cylinder wall as illustrated in Figure

Figure 19: Turbulent viscosity model Taking this turbulent viscosity model into consideration and integrating with respect to r with boundary conditions, r = 0, = 0 and r = R, = R results in

=
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The radial pressure distribution in the r- plane of the RHVT flow can be calculated by substituting the calculated rotational velocity distribution (equation 16) into equation 12 and integrating with respect to r. The pressure within the RHVT is not known, therefore the boundary condition was assumed to be r = 0, P= (to be motivated later) with the result being

=
The rotational velocity distribution and radial pressure distribution was plotted as shown in Figure 19 using the input values shown in Table 3 for different values of b.a is seen to have no influence on the velocity and pressure distributions due to cancellation. The values of the variables shown in Table 3 were obtained from the small Exair RHVT geometric and experimental data.

Analytical example input variables

Variable
Constant Exponent Radius [mm] Angular velocity [rad/s] Density [kg/m3]

Symbol
a

Value
1 0, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 3.175 55338 7

b R

Table 3: Analytical example input variables

From Figure 18 it is seen that the viscosity model constant b has a significant influence on the rotational velocity. For b = 0 the flow is laminar because the
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turbulent viscosity term in the effective viscosity becomes zero. As shown in Figure 18 the velocity of the rotating fluid increases from the centre towards the wall of the outer rotating cylinder; also with an increase in b the velocity increases more quickly in the central region of the flow. As b increases the effective viscosity increases which in turn increases the resistance to flow near the wall of the outer rotating cylinder which is why the velocity increase near the outer wall is less than in the central flow region as seen in the case of b = 0.9. The maximum rotational velocity occurs at the outer cylinder wall and the magnitude is calculated to be approximately 180 m/s for all values of b. Figure 23 shows that the radial pressure increases from the centre of the flow towards the outer cylinder wall. The pressure difference between the outer cylinder wall and the centre of the flow also increases with an increase in the value of b.

Figure 20: Rotational velocity distribution for different values of b in the effective viscosity model =a

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Figure 21: Radial pressure distribution for different values of b in the effective viscosity model =a Now that the rotational flow within the RHVT has been modelled with the aid of the calculated rotational velocity and radial pressure profiles, the temperature separation effect can be modelled in light of this flow regime and basic thermophysical principles. Considering Figure 19, it is seen that the RHVT is further divided into three control volumes: control volume 1 at the entrance of the RHVT where the compressed air enters the inlet nozzles from the supply tube, control volume 2 at the flow region where the flow enters the cylindrical tube from the inlet nozzles and exits through the cold orifice and control volume 3 further down the length of the cylindrical tube. To explain the temperature separation in the RHVT, it has to be explained how the inlet air is both cooled and heated in the tube, causing the temperature of the air exhausting from the RHVT outlets to be either much hotter or much colder than the inlet air. The cooling of the inlet air will be investigated first. Considering the first control volume ,in which compressed air enters the RHVT through a supply tube and then flows through 6 inlet nozzles to the cylindrical
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tube.The first control volume models the six inlet nozzles as a single nozzle for simplicity, as seen in Figure 22.

Figure 22: RHVT control volume 1

The total flow area and entrance angle of all 6 inlet nozzles was shown in Appendix C to be 0.924 x 1 and 52 respectively. The stagnation pressure and temperature conditions at the nozzle inlet, assuming negligible velocity in the supply tube, were measured experimentally to be = 570 kPa (gauge) = 671.325 kPa (abs) and = 294 K in air with an isentropic coefficient k = 1.4 and specific gas constant R = 287 J/kg.K. If control volume 1 is considered to be an isentropic duct, from White (2003) it is then determined that sonic or critical flow occurs at the minimum area within the duct if there are no shockwaves. The exit area of the inlet nozzles is the minimum area within control volume 1, and hence the flow through the nozzles are at sonic point (or critical). The corresponding critical pressure, temperature and velocity of the air at the outlet of the inlet nozzles at sonic point can be calculated as (White, 2003) =

= 671325

= 351.103 kPa (abs)

= 294 0.8333 = 245 K


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= .1.4 287 245 = 313.38 m/s

By comparing the inlet and outlet conditions of the inlet nozzles it is shown that the air temperature greatly decreases by 49C (294 K to 245 K) as it enters the cylindrical tube of the RHVT. Similarly the temperature drop across the inlet nozzles will be 73C (294 K to 221 K) for helium with k = 1.66 and R = 2.0769. To verify the validity of these calculations, the assumption made regarding stagnation conditions in the supply tube has to be verified. In order to do this the speed of the air and the Mach number in the supply tube have to be calculated. The supply tube has an inner diameter of 5 mm; therefore its crosssectional area is 19.6 m . The density of the air is calculated using the ideal gas law:

= 7.95 kg/
t (calculated in Appendix

The speed of the air, corresponding to the value of C), is therefore:

= 9.369

The speed of air is approximated as = = = 343.7

hence the Mach number is

= 0.027

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This Mach number is too low to give any appreciable increase in both the stagnation pressure and temperature over the corresponding measured inlet values. The assumption is therefore valid. Control volume 2 shows the entrance region of the RHVT, where the flowfrom the inlet nozzles enter the cylindrical tube of the RHVT and exhaust through the cold outlet.

Figure 23: RHVT control volume 2 The radial pressure distribution was calculated with the assumption that the pressure at the centre of the RHVT is at atmospheric pressure. In this control volume this assumption can be validated by the fact that is very close to the cold outlet which exhausts to atmospheric pressure. If it is then assumed that = , the pressure at the nozzle outlet is at a higher pressure than at the centre of the RHVT and this will cause the air to expand isentropically at the centre of control volume 2. Isentropic expansion can be illustrated as follows: consider a frictionless piston-cylinder device ; the air, an ideal gas, inside the cylinder is compressed due to the force (pressure) exerted on it by the piston, and when the

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force (pressure) is released the volume of the air is allowed to expand and the piston moves upwards.

The relation between the pressure and temperature during isentropic expansion is given by equation (Cengel and Boles, 2001):

=
where k = 1.4 for air and 1.66 for helium. The temperature calculated using equation 25 as

can now be

= 245

= 171.78 K

According to Etest (2008) the maximum temperature drop achievable with an inlet pressure of 7 bar (absolute) is 68.6 C when the volume fraction is set to 0.2 (see Appendix D). The total temperature drop from the supply tube to the centre of the RHVT inner tube was calculated to be 122 C by equations 19 and 26. Thi s shows that the low temperature of the air in the central exiting orifice of the RHVT inner
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tube can easily be explained due to the cooling effect accompanying isentropic expansion. Having accounted for the cooling of the inlet air, the heating of the inlet air is considered next. Consider the flow in the RHVT when the cold orifice is blocked, as illustrated in Figure 24. By blocking the cold orifice the inlet air will then exhaust only through the annular hot outlet and the flow within the cylindrical tube can be considered as one control volume.

Figure 24: Flow in RHVT when cold outlet is blocked Considering a steady state macroscopic energy balance for this control volume

=
Assuming that

)Q-

, h= T( =constant),

and ignoring

the heat transfer Q, equation reduces to 0=

)-

The temperature at the hot outlet can be calculated by rearranging equation 28 to form a standard quadratic equation
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0=[

+( )

-( +

with a,b and c denoting the quadratic equation constants. For a choked inlet, as in the case of the inlet nozzles of the RHVT, the critical inlet values (calculated in control volume 1 of Figure ) can be substituted into the inlet variables in equation together with the assumption that = to obtain the following formulas for the quadratic equation constants a,b and c.

a= b=
c=-( + )

The value of can now be solved by calculating the roots of equation 29 with the quadratic formula

The values shown in Table were used to calculate the value of or various hot outlet areas over a range of inlet velocities (from zero to sonic point ( )). These calculated values were plotted as shown in Figure . Table 4: Critical inlet, geometric and boundary conditions for calculating the hot outlet temperature of the control volume of Figure .
Variable Inlet mass flow rate [kg/s] Specific gas constant [J/kgK] Hot outlet area [m2] Symbol Value 0.00146

0.287 4.23 x 10-6, 4.33 x 10-6, 4.42 x 10-6

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60 | P a g e Hot outlet pressure [kPa] Inlet velocity [m/s] Inlet temperature [K] 101.325 0 310 245

Figure 25: Hot outlet temperatures of the control volume in Figure over a range of inlet velocities and for various hot outlet areas. . From Figure 25 it is shown that very high temperatures are possible within the RHVT if the cold outlet is closed. It also shows that the hot outlet temperature increases with an increase in the inlet velocity and also with an increase in the hot outlet area If the cold outlet is opened, the flow within the RHVT will change as shown in Figure 22. When the cold outlet is unblocked, the flow from the inlet will exhaust out of both the hot outlet and the cold outlet. There will also be flow from the inner cold stream to the hot outer stream due to expansion caused by the radial pressure gradient and there will also be flow from the hot stream to the cold stream . This mixing of the cold and hot air streams will further lower the hot stream
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temperature as well as raise the cold stream temperature by heat transfer which is why the temperature measured at the hot outlet is not as extremely hot as given in Figure 23 and why the cold outlet temperature is not as low as calculated using equation .

Figure 26: Mixing of the vortex streams in the RHVT when the cold outlet is unblocked. Now that it has been established by using a steady state macroscopic energy balance that very high temperatures can be achieved within the RHVT, further examination was done to determine the physical mechanism responsible for the heating of the inlet air. Control volume 3 (Figure 24) in Figure 19 represents the central flow region of the RHVT flow further down the length of the cylindrical tube and contains the two vortex streams; the hot outer stream and the cold inner stream.

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Figure 27: RHVT control volume 3 The following assumptions about the control volume are then made: Steady state Turbulent flow Compressible flow is zero No pressure and temperature gradient in the - direction Gravity is negligible Viscous terms are significant and therefore cant be ignored Applying the above made assumptions in Figure 30 to the conservation of energy equation in polar coordinates (Bird et al., 2002)

+ =k[ +2{ +{

+ + +

+ + ]

}
results in
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The first term on the right-hand side of equation is the conduction of heat in the radial direction of the flow. The second and third terms are viscous heat generation dueto friction within the rotational flow caused by the change in radial velocity and the increase in effective viscosity (see Figure 23) towards the inner wall of the RHVT cylindrical tube. The effective viscosity is highest at the wall and therefore the viscous heat generation is also highest at the wall, which is why the air temperature is higher near the inner wall of the cylindrical tube. From these energy equation terms it is reasonable to propose that the heating of the outer vortex air stream is due to viscous heating and that the viscosity of the fluid plays an integral role of ensuring that the heat generation through viscous heating in the outer vortex stream is larger than the heat transfer due to conduction. This increase in pressure compresses the air in the outer stream, which in turn then heats the air. In conclusion it is proposed that the temperature separation in the RHVT is due to the following. The inlet air is initially cooled due to isentropic expansion through the inlet nozzles, and further cooling occurs within the cylindrical tube of the RHVT due toisentropic expansion caused by the pressure gradient created by the generatedrotational flow within the RHVT. It was established through a macroscopic energy balance that immense heating of the inlet air will occur if the cold outlet is blocked andthat the temperatures will decrease when the cold outlet in unblocked due to mixing of the two air streams. It was further determined that the best explanation of this heating of the inlet air is due to viscous heating at the wall of the RHVT and possibly to isentropic compression.

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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


The solution was observed after various iterations when it converges. The temperature distribution was observed. The final temperature at the inlet, hot outlet and the cold outlet were noted when the area weighted average of static temperature was taken. These are the final report of temperature being calculated Cold Exit= 10C Hot Exit= 50C Inlet flow= 30C Thus, from the data we observe that a refrigeration effect is produced when a fluid is tangentially introduced into the vortex tube. The fluid in the tube separates into two parts; one is the hotter part which flows out through the hot exit and the cold part which flows out through the cold exit. It is also observed that as the fluid moves axially the velocity decreases and reaches a stagnation point from which reverse flow occurs.

VELOCITY :The fluid enters the vortex tube through the inlet with swirl motion and a very low radial velocity component. The fluid loses velocity as it moves in the axial direction and reaches a point where the velocity becomes zero. This point is known as stagnation point. From the stagnation point, reverse flow is observed and the fluid moves out through the cold exit. The fluid which moves forward in the axial direction moves out though the hot exit.it can be inferred that velocity at hot outlet is very low compared to that at cold outlet

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TEMPERATURE: Due to cooling effect of inlet air from inlet, the temperature of the fluid increases as we move from left to the right.The fluid moving out through the cold outlet has a low temperature compared to both inlet and hot outlet . The maximum temperature is observed at the hot outlet. The fluid moving out through the cold outlet has the lowest temperature in the vortex tube. Hence we observed a refrigeration effect when a fluid is tangentially introduced into the vortex tube.

Using vortex tube for utilizing industrial waste pressure energy Similar to waste heat, waste pressure can also be characterized as a reclaimable form of energy and there are many opportunities to utilize it in industrial systems. Vortex tube technology for recovering waste pressure and heat simultaneously is a relatively new concept that has not been explored completely in the commercial market. However our research shows that there are many potential sources of waste pressure energy that could be utilized using vortex tube technology.

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Advantages: No moving parts No electricity or chemicals Small, lightweight Low cost Maintenance free Instant cool air Durable- stainless steel Adjustable temperature Interchangable generators

Disadvantages: Its low COP, limited capacity and only small portion of the compressed air appearing as the cold air limits its wide use in practice. Vortex tubes have no moving parts, are almost maintenance free and tend to be very reliable. However they have lower efficiency than compared to most other heat pumps.

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Applications: Cool machining operations Set solders and adhesives Cool plastic injection molds Dry ink on labels and bottles Dehumidify gas samples Cool heat seal operations Thermal test sensors and choke units Cool cutter blades Temperature cycle parts

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CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK

An analysis was done to determine a simple explanation as to how the temperature separation occurs within the RHVT. The proposed analytical model gives a basic understanding of what thermo-physical mechanisms are responsible for the cooling and heating of the inlet air. The model, however, does fall short in calculating or predicting the exact velocity, pressure and outlet temperatures due to the simplification of the flow in the RHVT, lack of experimental data on the flow inside the RHVT and the lack of an appropriate analytical turbulence model. It was found that the geometry of the inlet nozzles in the vortex generator is a key geometric feature. Due to its small size the nozzles could not be measured with a conventional Vernier calliper and other methods had to be investigated. The area of the hot outlet determines the volume fraction of the RHVT. It was also found that due to the high turbulence of the flow at the entrance region of the RHVT the solution diverged if the full mass flow rate condition was applied to the mass flow inlet boundary. In conclusion, the vortex tube is a viable means of refrigeration in developing communities. The experiment used commercially available products and observed independent results. The holistic prototype will be a necessity to determine the viability of the real machine. More research and prototyping must be done to find the optimal input energy source to create sufficient power to make ice in a reasonable amount of time. The windmill mechanically driven compressor appears to be the most efficient. A real prototype will help identify potential challenges. dissigno must consider the economic, climatic, and cultural viability in every individual installation. The machine will become less efficient at higher altitude, lower temperature, and lower relative humidity. The value added benefits appear to have significant opportunities including the production of clean water approximately half a liter an hour. In a world of ever increasing need for fuel and water a vortex cooler for developing communities can provide a physically viable solution.

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Quantitative observations Experimental observations show that in the low inlet pressure regime (<10 psig) and low cold fraction (<10%); vortex tubes behave differently and produce multiple flow structures rather than expected re-circulating cold stream and the columnar hot stream type of flow (or simply Vortex Tube or VT-flow). It was observed that the back pressure (Pb) exerted by the hot fraction control valve has more dominant effect on the cold fractions as compared to the inlet pressure (Pi). Opening or closing the hot fraction control valve by just a small amount shows more dramatic effect on the flow patterns as compared to the inlet pressure. Transition from T-flow to VT-flow is a very intriguing phenomenon and needs more experimental and theoretical understanding. Following propositions and the facts can be used as the stepping stones while explaining the transition from T-flow (no energy separation) to VT-flow (energy separation): We believe that the flow transition from T-flow to VT-flow is accompanied by the relocation of an axial stagnation point. We also believe that the axial pressure distribution inside the vortex tube is responsible for the relocation of the axial stagnation point. Axial and radial pressure gradients inside the vortex tube are controlled by inlet pressure (Pi) and the back pressure (Pb) exerted by the hot fraction control valve. Work published by Linderstrom-Lang during 1960's can be used as the springboard to explain T to VT-flow transition. Similar to our findings, they observed S-flow (equivalent to T-flow) at low cold fractions and Uflow (equivalent to VT-flow) at high cold fractions. To support the T to VT-flow transition argument; similar to Linderstrom-Lang, we recommend future researchers to measure the wall pressures, along the periphery of the vortex tube. We believe that T-flow to VT-flow transition seen inside the vortex tube is somehow linked with the traveling vortex breakdown studied by Sarpkaya in 1971 .
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Future Work There are several issues with regard to multiple flow modes observed inside the vortex tube which should be further investigated. Probing deeper, the results in this thesis provide a strong foundation for the future work in intriguing science of energy separation inside vortex tube: Transition from T-flow to VT-flow is a very intriguing phenomenon and needs more experimental and theoretical understanding. It would be valuable to use current experimental setup for further data collection and refinement to understand the basic science behind the flow transitions. What triggers the flow mode selection and what are the operating conditions to avoid reverse, elbow or T-flow? Is it because of the relocation of an axial stagnation point, or because of the traveling vortex breakdown or both effects combined? Transparent vortex tube and the flow visualization using the carriage and the carrier technique would help us to answer these questions. Not only experimentally but understanding T-flow to VT-flow transition theoretically is equally important. F. Husseins work and similar literature would help us in developing appropriate theory to explain flow mode transitions. Numerical simulation of various flow modes inside the vortex tube is necessary. By numerical work, it is possible to simulate the pressure, velocity, temperature, density, fluctuation simultaneously and overcome the difficulties met in the experiments.

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1- basic operation of the vortex tube....page-3 Figure 2(a) Ranque-Hilsch counter flow vortex tube..... ..Page-4 Figure2(b) Ranque-Hilsch uniflow vortex tube. Page-4 Figure 3 : Counter flow and uni-flow vortex tubesPage-12 Figure 4: Comparison between Amitani s and Takahamas experimental workPage-17 Figure 5: Observation made by Ahlborn and Groves (1997) ..page-18 Figure 6: Cross-Section of Ranque.s Vortex Tube Design .. page-20 Figure7: Cross Section of a Uniflow RHVT . Page-21 Figure 8: Schematic illustration of the thermal conductivity due to the pressure gradient. Page-27 Figure9 : Complete Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube System Including Compressed Air Supply.. page-30 Figure 10-Secondary flow in a RHVT (Ahlborn and Groves, 1997) page-32 Figure 11 : The RHVT as a classic refrigeration cycle.. page-33 Figure 12:- Forced and free vortices. Page-35 Figure 13: Cross-section of vortex tube showing free and forced vortex flows..page-36

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Figure 14: Schematic drawing of the uniflow RHVT system... Page-38 Figure 15(a): Schematic drawing of the conical vortex tube. .Page-40 Figure 15(b): Schematic drawing of the Double-Circuit Vortex Tube. ..Page-40 Figure16: Magnified view of a Turbulent Boundary Layer ..page-42 Figure 17: Flow in a RHVT .page-44 Figure 18 : The r- plane of the RHVT (Figure 19) as two rotating coaxial cylinders. Page-45 Figure 19: Turbulent viscosity model page-47 Figure 20: Rotational velocity distribution for different values of b in the effective viscosity model page-49 Figure 21: Radial pressure distribution for different values of b in the effective viscosity model ..page-49 Figure 22: RHVT control volume 1 page- 50 Figure 23: RHVT control volume 2... page -52 Figure 24: Flow in RHVT when cold outlet is blocked page-54 Figure 25: Hot outlet temperatures of the control volume in Figure over a range of inlet velocities and for various hot outlet areas ..page-56 Figure 26: Mixing of the vortex streams in the RHVT when the cold outlet is unbloc ked.. Page-57 Figure 27: RHVT control volume 3 page- 57

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1:- Various applications and available waste pressurespage 8 Table 2:- Lengths and diameters of the vortex tubes used by other researchers. page16 Table 3: Analytical example input variables. ...page48 Table 4: Critical inlet, geometric and boundary conditions for calculating the hot outlet temperature of the control volume. .Page55

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NOMENCLATURE :-

, cf D N

,P V T

: Mass flow leaving cold-end and hot end respectively. : Total mass flow entering the system, ( + ). : Cold air fraction, ( ). : Inside diameter of Vortex Tube, 2 : Diameter of cold end orifice. : Number of nozzles on the Generator. : Width of nozzle opening. : Length of nozzle opening. : Total and Static pressure, respectively. : Velocity. : Static temperature. : Total temperature, T + : Specific heat of air at constant pressure and constant volume : The ratio of specific heats, / . : Specific weight of air. : Enthalpy of air, T. : Total enthalpy of air, . : Efficiency of energy separation defined by equation number 1 : Performance factor of vortex tube, defined by equation : Speed of sound. : Frequency in Hz. : Convective heat transfer coefficient. : Thermal conductivity of a fluid. : Mach number, = : Prandtl number of a fluid, =

K H a f H K Ma

Re
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: Reynolds number, = : Thermal diffusivity of a fluid.

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v Tu s

: Kinematic viscosity of a fluid. : Density of a fluid.

: Specific entropy of a fluid. : Circulation inside a fluid. : Vorticity of a fluid.

: Turbulence intensity,

Subscripts : i h c o

: Inlet of vortex tube. : Entrance of nozzle. : Hot end of vortex tube. : Cold end of vortex tube. : Cold end orifice.

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REFERENCES
1. Dincer K, Baskaya S, Uysal B.Z, Experimental investigation of the effect of length to diameter ratio and nozzle number on the performance on counter flow Rangue-Hilsch vortex tube. 2. A blog by otto belden - http://ottobelden.blogspot.in/2009/09/diyhomemade-ranque-hilsch-vortex.html 3. Experimental Study on the Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube by Chengming Gao 4. The Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube page by BobC 5. Investigation on the Vortex Thermal Separation in a Vortex Tube Refrigerator by Pongjet Promvonge* and Smith Eiamsa 6. exair.com - Vortex tube theory 7. Newman Tools Inc. http://www.newmantools.com/vortex.htm

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