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International Journal of Latest Research in Science and Technology

Volume 2,Issue 1 :Page No.499-501, January-February (2013)


http://www.mnkjournals.com/ijlrst.htm

ISSN (Online):2278-5299

APPLICATION OF COMPUTER FLUID DYNAMICS


FOR OPTIMIZATION OF AIR CONDITIONING
EQUIPMENT: A REVIEW OF RESEARCH WORK
DONE
1,2

1
Mr. K. Vaseemul Rahaman, 2Mr. Shankar
Lakshmi Narayan College of Technology, Bhopal

Abstract - Air-conditioning systems have been used in many parts of the world. Computer fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is a recent
achievement of CAE technology that is finding growing application in the air conditioning field to enable such concurrent development to
be performed through simulation. People spend 8 0-90% of their time indoors, and indoor environment has important effects on human
health and work efficiency. Outstanding air-conditioning systems help to improve indoor air environment. The new-style air supply modes
either possess prominent potential of energy saving or can provide a comfortable and healthy indoor air environment or both of them.
Therefore, it could be concluded that comfort, health and energy saving are recent research topics and the direction of air conditioning in
the future.
Keywords. Air Conditioning, CFD, Indoor Air Quality, Airflow.

INTRODUCTION
Computer fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is a recent
achievement of CAE technology that is finding growing
application in the air conditioning field to enable such
concurrent development to be performed through simulation.
To date, CFD has mainly been used by air conditioner
manufactures to analyze the airflow of air conditioners in
isolation, or by automotive manufactures to analyze defroster
performance and interior airflows; in other words, it has been
applied most frequently to in cabin component layout and
event analyses.
Air-conditioning systems have been used in many parts of the
world. The purpose of most systems is to provide thermal
comfort and an acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) for
occupants. With the improvement of standard of living,
occupants require more and more comfortable and healthful
indoor environment. People spend 8 0-90% of their time
indoors, and indoor environment has important effects on
human health and work efficiency. The factors affecting
indoor environment mainly include temperature, humidity,
air exchange rate, air movement, ventilation, particle
pollutants, biological pollutants, and gaseous pollutants.1
1. Air-conditioning systems
Many kinds of AC systems are used to improve indoor
thermal comfort and IAQ. Recent research is focused on
dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), independent control of

ISSN:2278-5299

temperature and humidity system (ICTHS), and cooling


ceiling and displacement ventilation systems (CC/DV).
1.1

Dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS)

With the occurrence of SARS, avian flu and anthracnose in


some countries, the safety of AC systems becomes more
important. DOAS, an effective measure to realize immune
building, has gradually been appreciated by international
AC industry2.The reason why DOAS is called new
concept AC system is that the techniques used in DOAS
have widely been applied but are subtly combined to show its
broad prospect. DOAS results in a significant revolution in
air-conditioning industry.
1.2
Independent control
humidity system (ICTHS)

of

temperature

and

Conventional AC systems firstly cool air below the dewpoint temperature in order to condense moisture out, and then
reheat it to the supply comfortable temperature before
delivering it to the occupied spaces. This leads to low
evaporating temperature, a poor COP value for the chiller,
and higher energy consumption. Moreover, the FCU may
become the hotbed of many kinds of mildew due to the
existence of condensing water, which will deteriorate IAQ.
The reason for all these problems is that the cooling process
and the dehumidifying process are in the same unit and at the
same time, but there is an essential difference between the

499

Vaseemu,International Journal of Latest Research in Science and Technology.

two processes3. ICTHS can realize the independent control of


temperature and humidity, and resolve the problems above.
1.3
Cooling ceiling and displacement ventilation
systems (CC/DV)
DV system performs well on eliminating indoor pollutants
and improving IAQ, but it sometimes is incapable of meeting
indoor cooling load due to the limitation of temperature and
velocity of air distribution, which may lower the indoor
thermal comfort. CC system performs well on indoor thermal
comfort, but it cannot improve IAQ due to its configuration.
So it can be found that DV system and CC system can offset
the disadvantages each other. In combined CC/DV systems,
the CC panels remove part of sensible cooling load by
convection and radiation, while DV system removes indoor
pollutants, latent cooling load and the other part of sensible
cooling load.
2. Application of CFD for Air Conditioning
A packaged AC unit comprises several components
(compressor, condenser coil, evaporator coil, expansion
valve, etc.) that may be assembled in several ways. The
assembly affects the airflow patterns, which in turn, may
affect the performance of each component and the overall
performance of the unit. The non-uniform distribution of
airflow over the evaporator and/or condenser may cause
severe reduction in heat transfer. Therefore, it is important to
predict the airflow characteristics within the unit in order to
improve its performance.
Whereas many studies appeared in the literature dealing with
heat transfer enhancement in heat exchange equipment, the
use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for predicting the
performance of air conditioning units is limited to few
investigations. Lorenzini and Moretti studied numerically the
combined geometrical and thermo-fluid mechanical effects
on fin optimization to enhance heat removal4. Hu and Herold
investigated experimentally and numerically the heat transfer
rate and pressure drop in offset fin compact heat exchangers
for liquid coolants with the Prandtl number ranging from 3 to
150. Results demonstrated that the Prandtl number has a large
effect on the Nusselt number of the offset fin geometry. Song
et al. theoretically analyzed the effect on heat transfer of
applying evaporative cooling to an air-cooled finned heat
exchanger5.
It was found that the spray of water improves cooling
considerably with the rate of improvement being greatly
dependent on the fin thickness. Pele et al. evaluated the effect
of the saturated humid air flow rate on the heat and mass
transfer in a vertical exchanger6. Jei and Clark investigated
experimentally the effect of spraying liquid droplets in fine
mist to enhance heat rejection in air-cooled compact heat
exchangers7. An increase in heat transfer was obtained.
Similar findings were also reported by Kumari et al8.
Alizadehdakhel et al. studied experimentally and numerically
the simultaneous evaporation and condensation phenomena
in a thermo syphon. By comparing experimentally measured
data with numerically generated results they concluded that
CFD is a useful tool to model the complex flow and heat
transfer in a thermo syphon9. A full 3D numerical simulation
of shell-and-tube heat exchangers was reported by Zhang et

ISSN:2278-5299

al. As stated above, few investigations dealing with


predicting the performance of AC units are available in the
literature10. Xu et al. studied the re-circulating flow in the
evaporator section of an industrial packaged air-conditioning
unit and analyzed the effects of the mal distribution of the
velocity field on the performance of the unit11. The problem
was solved as a single phase flow with many simplifications.
The study was confined to predicting the hydrodynamic
characteristics of the turbulent three-dimensional flow field
without paying any attention to the thermal field, which is the
main concern in an AC unit.
The flow through the centrifugal fan was resolved by
including relevant body forces as source terms in the
momentum equations for the regions bounded by the
impeller. The evaporator coil was modeled as a distributed
flow resistance element following a porous medium
approach. The isothermal turbulent flow through the coil
alone was separately modeled as a two dimensional
incompressible flow in and numerical results were compared
with experimental measurements obtained from the actual
unit. Results were found to be generally in good agreement.
The study reported in aimed at investigating the validity of
the use of turbulence models in predicting the hydrodynamic
fields in AC units. The finite volume-based numerical results
generated using the standard ke and second-moment closure
models were judged against experimental ones obtained from
triple-hot-wire anemometry measurements12-17.
CONCLUSION & FUTURE WORK
CFD simulation can be used as an effective and economical
tool to produce valuable guidance for practical improvements
to the processing air-conditioning systems in industrial
buildings. The CFD technique can reproduce the swirling
motions and the positions of eddies, quantitatively
confirming their dimensions.
CFD models can be checked using the measurements (i.e.
flow distribution and total flow rates) of existing systems in
practical application before the models are used to predict the
performance after retrofitting. The accuracy and reliability of
simulation results appears to be adequate for the practical
applications. Certainly, serious validation of CFD models
should be based on more fundamental measurements besides
these overall parameters. This might not be practical, as cost
and time are of major concern, and might not be necessary in
practical applications like the study case, as requirements
regarding computational accuracy are not very high.
Outstanding air-conditioning systems help to improve indoor
air environment. DOAS and ICTHS realize the independent
control of temperature and humidity, and ensure that indoor
terminal devices (e.g., FCU, CC) operate in dry condition.
The new-style air supply modes either possess prominent
potential of energy saving or can provide a comfortable and
healthy indoor air environment or both of them. Therefore, it
could be concluded that comfort, health and energy saving
are recent research topics and the direction of air conditioning
in the future. However, usually there is a contradiction among
comfort, health, and energy saving. Current air-conditioning
techniques need to be improved further, and new airconditioning techniques are expected to be proposed as soon
as possible.

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Vaseemu,International Journal of Latest Research in Science and Technology.

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