Condensation heat transfer and pressure drop of refrigerants HFO-1234yf and HFC-134a in small circular tube

Chien Yuh Yang, Hamid Nalbandian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


HFO-1234yf has similar thermodynamic properties to HFC-134a but much lower GWP value. It is expected as a good candidate to replace the refrigerant HFC-134a in the near future. However, only very few papers have been published in the past years regarding to the flow condensation heat transfer performance of this new refrigerant. This study provides an experimental analysis of flow condensation heat transfer and pressure drops of refrigerants HFO-1234yf and HFC-134a in a small circular tube. The test results show that both pressure drop and condensation heat transfer performance depend on the fluid properties, flow conditions and flow patterns. The major controlling properties on pressure drops and heat transfer coefficients is strongly depending on their two-phase flow pattern at various flow conditions. At the lowest mass velocity, gravity is the major force that dominates the heat transfer mechanism and the flow pattern is slug. Higher liquid viscosity retarded the condensate flow but higher liquid conductivity provided better heat transfer through the liquid film. Both liquid viscosity and conductivity are the important controlling properties. While mass velocity and vapor quality increased, the effect of shear force increased and the flow pattern transferred to annular. Liquid thermal conductivity became the major controlling property at high vapor qualities. But at low vapor qualities, gravity is still important and therefore liquid viscosity is one the major controlling parameter. At the highest mass velocity conditions, gravity effect is negligible even though at very low vapor quality condition. Shear force dominated the condensation heat transfer mechanism and liquid conductivity is the most important controlling property. It can be concluded that the flow condensation heat transfer performance is strongly depending on the two-phase flow patterns at various flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Flow condensation heat transfer
  • Flow pattern
  • HFC-134a
  • HFO-1234yf
  • Two-phase pressure drop


Dive into the research topics of 'Condensation heat transfer and pressure drop of refrigerants HFO-1234yf and HFC-134a in small circular tube'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this