This study investigates FC-72 (Perfluorohexane) flow boiling in a plate heat exchanger. A plate heat exchanger which has a transparent cover plate is manufactured to visualize boiling two-phase flow pattern of the working fluid FC-72 heated by hot water. Titanium is used for heat transfer plate, which has micro pin-fin structure on the heat transfer surface to enhance heat transfer. Experiment is conducted for parallel- and counter-flow arrangements to compare thermal and hydraulic performances. Flow boiling is photographed by a digital camera and instantaneous images are processed to classify flow pattern and to measure void fraction in the heat exchanger. Flow rates and temperatures of FC-72 and hot water at inlet and outlet of the heat exchanger are simultaneously measured to obtain overall heat transfer coefficient. Two-phase flow pattern of FC-72 flow boiling and void fraction along flow direction as well as thermal performance are discussed. Experimental results show that bubbly flow, slug flow, and churn flow are observed for the experimental range of this study. Extent of churn flow in the parallel-flow heat exchanger is larger than that of the counter-flow one due to generated bubbles at upstream region in working fluid channel. Void fraction of the parallel-flow plate heat exchanger increases rapidly compared with that of the counter-flow one due to location of onset of nucleate boiling. Overall heat transfer coefficients for the parallel-flow arrangement is larger than that of the counter-flow due to destruction of thermal boundary layer. The experimental results show that flow arrangement of a plate heat exchanger has the potential to improve its thermal performance.

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