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ACRC Contract Report 14PDF


Title:Exploratory Research on MEMS Technology for Air-Conditioning and Heat-Pumps
Author(s):Shannon, Mark A.; Hrnjak, P.S.; Leicht, T.M.
Subject(s):micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS)
multi-channel evaporators
multichannel heat exchangers
Abstract:This report details the efforts to exploit micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) and micro device technologies to improve control of multi-channel evaporators by reducing maldistribution among channels, and increase capacity and efficiency of current vapor-compression refrigeration chillers and heat-pumps. Besides summarizing the market potential of MEMS technology for use in evaporators and micro-heat-pumps, the report describes the accomplishments of an experimental investigation of refrigerant-side maldistribution in multi-channel plate heat exchangers (PHE's). A special test facility designed for the purpose of studying the maldistribution of refrigerant in evaporators is described in the report. The facility allows maldistribution caused by either normal superheat temperature control, or induced by the user in controlled amounts, to be measured and quantified. Four different techniques were used to detect the presence of liquid droplets in the stream of superheated vapor at the evaporator exit, an indication of maldistributed flow. They are: Helium-Neon laser, beaded thermocouple, static mixer and newly designed heated MEMS sensor. Comparison of the four techniques shows that the MEMS sensor designed and fabricated in this project has the highest potential for indicating maldistribution, manifested by entrained liquid droplets, in multi-channel evaporators. A complete set of test results in the time and frequency domain is show in graphical form in the appendices. The design, fabrication, calibration, and testing of the MEMS serpentine resistance sensor is also reported, along with a control scheme and strategy for implementing the MEMS sensor in multi-channel evaporator systems.
Issue Date:1998-12
Publisher:Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center. College of Engineering. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Series/Report:Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center CR-14
Genre:Technical Report
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-07-27

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