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International Heat Transfer Conference 12

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Investigation of the energy separation mechanism in the vortex tube

Chang Hyun Sohn
School of Mechanical Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, Korea

Uhe Hyun Jung
Kyungpook National University, School of mechanical engineering

Chang Soo Kim
Kyungpook National University, School of mechanical engineering

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC12.2790
6 pages


The present study investigates the energy separation mechanism and phenomena for the counter-flow type vortex tube through experimental testing and numerical simulation. Visualization was carried out using the surface tracing method, injecting dye on the vortex tube wall using a needle. Vortex tube is made of arclyle to visualize the surface particle tracing and the input air pressure was varied from 0.1MPa to 0.3MPa. The experimental visualized results on the tube show that there is an apparent sudden changing of the trajectory on the vortex tube wall for every experimental test case. This may indicate the stagnation position of the vortex flow. The visualized stagnation position is moved to the vortex generator with increase in cold flow ratio and input pressure. Three-dimensional computational results show the same trends as the experimental results and we got the internal velocity field of vortex tube. The calculated total pressure, static pressure and total temperature distributions in the vortex tube were compared with other researcher's experimental data. It was found that four secondary flows existed near the cold outlet region for all the computational cases. In addition, the secondary flows induced compression and expansion in the vortex tube and the flow path of the secondary flow is a similar to that of the refrigeration cycle. The behavior of energy separation in the vortex tube can be explained by the secondary flow.

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