CFD modelling and experimental investigation of an ejector refrigeration system using methanol as the working fluid
This paper presents results of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis and experimental investigation of an ejector refrigeration system using methanol as the working fluid. The CFD modelling was used to investigate the effect of the relative position of the primary nozzle exit within the mixing chamber on the performance of the ejector. The results of the CFD were used to obtain the optimum geometry of the ejector, which was then used to design, construct and test a small-scale experimental ejector refrigeration system. Methanol was used as the working fluid, as it has the advantage of being an ‘environmentally friendly’ refrigerant that does not contribute to global warming and ozone layer depletion. In addition, use of methanol allows the ejector refrigeration system to produce cooling at temperatures below the freezing point of the water, which of course would not be possible with a water ejector refrigeration system. CFD results showed that positioning the nozzle exit at least 0.21 length of the mixing chamber throat's diameter upstream of the entrance of the mixing chamber gave better performance than pushing it into the mixing chamber. Experimental values of coefficient of performance (COP) between 0.2 and 0.4 were obtained at operating conditions achievable using low-grade heat such as solar energy and waste heat. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.