Refrigeration is a new field for wave rotor technology in recent years. Unsteady condensation in the wave rotor, which could affect the performance of the machine, is still a challenge. In this paper, the movement of condensed droplets in the wave rotor is investigated first and the existence of evaporation, which is responsible for the low efficiency of the wave rotor, is confirmed. Then characteristics of the flow field in the wave rotor involving condensation are obtained by numerical simulation using a condensation model that describes both nucleation and growth of droplets and an evaporation model that computes growth of droplets reversely. Finally, two important operating parameters, pressure and relative humidity of high-pressure inlet, are investigated to find out their influences towards the refrigeration performance under different condensation conditions by combining experiment results and numerical simulation. The results of this paper could help better understand unsteady condensation in wave rotor and improve design accuracy significantly.
Keywords refrigeration, wave rotor, pressure waves, condensation, evaporation