Refrigeration-Vortex Tube

      Refrigeration-Vortex Tube                                   

Vortex tube: The vortex tube, also known as the Ranque – Hilsch vortex tube. It separates  compressed air into hot and cold streams. It has no moving parts. This device can produce  cooling only up to 0.5 TR. Pressurized air is injected tangentially into a swirl chamber. There it acquires RPM of 100000. There is a conical obstruction at the right end of the tube. only the outer portion of the compressed gas is allowed to escape at the right end. The remaining  gas is forced to return in an inner vortex of reduced diameter. This is ‘cold’ air and leaves from the left end (where nozzles are fitted). Minimum -50C can be achieved by Vortex tube refrigeration.

vortex-tube

          Fig.VORTEX TUBE

SAMPLE SPECIFICATIONS FOR A VORTEX TUBE

ITEM                                                                                              SPECIFICATION

Tube Diameter                                                                                    25 mm

Length of tube                                                                                     500 mm

Material                                                                                               Stainless steel

Pressure of air                                                                                     7 bar

Number of nozzles                                                                              8

Vortex RPM generated                                                                      100000 RPM

Lowest temperature achieved                                                           -70C

COP                                                                                                       0.1

Cooling Capacity                                                                                 0.5 TR.

APPLICATIONS

1. Cooling during machining

2. Spot cooling of electronic components and electronic equipment’s

3. Body cooling of the workers in mines.

4. Hot air can be used for drying purposes.

ADVANTAGES OF VORTEX TUBE

(i) Maintenance free (no moving parts)

(ii) Simple in design

(iii) No controls

(iv) Reliable

(v) Compact

(vi) Light weight

(vii)  Cheap

(viii) Durable because of stainless steel tube

(ix)  Adjustable temperature

(x)  Instant cooling

(xi) Uses air as a refrigerant

(xi) Initial and maintenance expenses are also less, where compressed air is readily available

(xiii) Skilled labor is not required.

DISADVANTAGES OF VORTEX TUBE

(i) Low COP

(ii)  limited capacity

(iii)  Only small fraction of the compressed air is available as cold air.

(iv) Use is limited as it requires compressed air and hence needs an air compressor.