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Experimental investigation of condensation on the rear surface of an open cavity located on a refrigerator

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2005
Şamdan, Ahmet Alphan
An experimental study has been performed to investigate the condensation on the inner surface of open cavities located on horizontal and vertical surfaces of a refrigerator to simulate ice dispensers, water dispensers, electronic display slots, and door handles, etc. Cavity size, cavity depth and insulation thickness were variable parameters. Cavities were located on fresh food and freezer compartments to study two different boundary conditions. Level of condensation was put into a scale based on visual observation for condensed water droplets on the cavity surface. As a practical tool for design engineers, insulation thickness was plotted as a function of cavity depth indicating the level of condensation. Similar cavity geometries were tested on both freezer and fresh food compartments. Aluminum foil attached behind the inner surface of a cavity located on the fresh food door helped to decrease the level of condensation significantly. However, condensation can not be avoided for the cavities located on the freezer compartment deeper than critical values. Forming radius at the corners and on the edges of cavities decreased condensation on these regions. The effects of air circulation on condensation inside and outside the refrigerator were also investigated for some cavities. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) method was used to visualize non-disturbed air flow pattern over the cavity and at the cavity opening. High convective heat transfer at the cavity center was strongly associated with relatively high air velocity. Temperature distribution and flow pattern were analyzed by a CFD Programme. Condensation due to relatively low temperatures at the corners and on the edges was associated with conductive heat transfer in multiple directions and insufficient air circulation on these regions.