Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mathias, James

Abstract

Continual development of internal combustion engines requires greater performance from liquid coolants and heat exchangers to maintain optimal temperature. For the purpose of experimental testing of traditional, compact, and microchannel heat exchangers, a test facility has been designed, constructed, and utilized. The facility includes equipment and instrumentation necessary to create operating conditions and record data primarily for testing plate-fin brazed aluminum heat exchanger where heat is being transferred from liquid to air. Other arrangements of heat exchangers could be tested as well with some modifications. Initial tests were performed at several specified operating conditions for three liquids: water, a traditional glycol based Extended Life Coolant (ELC), and a new Glycol Free Coolant (GFC) in an attempt to characterize their heat transfer ability. Results of the tests found that the product of overall heat transfer coefficient and heat exchanger area (UA) was very similar for GFC and water, and it was less for ELC by a narrow margin of 1.3% difference on average. Uncertainty due to instrumentation accuracy was calculated to be 1.8% on average making the results overall UA unverifiable. Measured pressure drop across the heat exchanger which is proportional to required pumping power was found to be 13.5% higher for GFC than ELC at nominal conditions. The GFC offers similar heat transfer performance and marginally increased pumping power requirements compared to the traditional ELC. Due to similar heat transfer performance and the small effect of pressure drop, GFC would be good alternative to ELC due to its less toxic composition.

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