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Rafael S. Ribeiro
Post-Graduation Program in Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba-PR, Brazil

Christian J. L. Hermes
Department of Mechanical Engineering, POLO Research Laboratories, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040535 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

Diogo L. da Silva
Department of Mobility Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Joinville-SC, Brazil

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2018.fip.021474
pages 973-976

KEY WORDS: frost, defrost, tube-fin evaporator, commercial refrigeration, thermodynamic optimization


This research work is aimed at finding out the optimal design (i.e. number of transversal and longitudinal tube rows, number of fins) of fan-supplied tube-fin evaporators for light commercial refrigeration applications operating under frosting conditions. Quasi-steady-state algebraic models were put forward for the refrigeration cycle components for computing not only the cooling capacity depletion due to the evaporator frosting over time, but also the changes experienced by the evaporating temperature and their effect on the compressor power. Transient algebraic models were also advanced to account for the temperature and humidity variations inside the refrigerated compartment, and so the compressor runtime. The optimization exercise aiming at system-level energy consumption minimization (i.e. compressor, fan and defrost heater power consumption) revealed that, when the evaporator volume and width were held constrained, the lowest energy consumption was achieved for evaporators with 4 transversal by 4 longitudinal tubes. Similar energy consumption results were observed for evaporators with (3×6) and (6×3) (transversal tubes × longitudinal tubes), these being costlier than the optimal solution, suggesting that the optimal geometry is independent on the aspect ratio for fan-supplied conditions.

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