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Effect of Inclination on the Performance of a Compact Brazed Plate Condenser and Evaporator



Mark A. Kedzierski


This study experimentally quantified the change in heat transfer and pressure drop associated with tilting a compact brazed plate heat exchanger from the intended vertical position. Both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations within a plane perpendicular to the fittings were examined. A SWEP B15x36 was tested as an R-22 evaporator and condenser under fixed refrigerant state conditions suitable to high-efficiency water-source heat pumps. This study showed that a substantial performance penalty occurred when the evaporator was rotated past 30 deg from the vertical. The evaporator heat transfer in the horizontal position was 60-75% of the vertical value. For a rotation angle of 30 deg, the degraded heat transfer was within 5% of the vertical value. Rotation direction and entering refrigerant state had little effect on the performance of the evaporator for rotation angles less than 60 deg. Only when the evaporator was rotated to the horizontal position did rotation direction and refrigerant state have much effect. At the horizontal position, a subcooled-entering refrigerant and a counterclockwise rotation both tended to lessen the heat transfer degradation. Rotation of the condenser to the horizontal position improved the overall heat transfer coefficient by approximately 17-30%. Rotation direction had a negligible effect on the performance of the condenser for angles less than 60 deg. Both the evaporator and condenser pressure drops were influenced by flow distribution changes as the heat exchangers were rotated.
Heat Transfer Engineering
No. 3


building technology, brazed plate, compact heat exchanger, evaporator, condenser, gravity


Kedzierski, M. (1997), Effect of Inclination on the Performance of a Compact Brazed Plate Condenser and Evaporator, Heat Transfer Engineering, [online], (Accessed July 25, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1997, Updated February 19, 2017