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A fully three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic model is used to analyze the mechanism of flow and heat transfer in a vortex tube. Vortex tube is a simple circular tube with interesting function and several industrial applications and contains one or more inlets and two outlets. It is used as a spot cooling device in industry. The past numerical investigations of vortex tube have been performed with the two-dimensional axisymmetric assumption but in the present work this problem is studied fully three-dimensional without making that assumption. Using this model, appropriate numerical results are presented to clarify physical understanding of the flow and energy separation inside the vortex tube. It is observed that there are considerable differences between the results of the two aforementioned models, and that the results of fully three-dimensional model are more accurate and agree better with available experimental data. Moreover, the parameters affecting the cooling efficiency of the vortex tube are discussed.
PAPER REVISED: 2008-11-11
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2008-12-27
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THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2009, VOLUME 13, ISSUE Issue 4, PAGES [183 - 196]
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