Numerical simulation and structure optimization of a liquid–vapor separation plate condenser


Based on innovative design, a liquid–vapor separation plate condenser with excellent heat transfer performance is invented. It takes less time to discharge condensate from the refrigerant channel and get a thinner liquid film in condensing channel with the new-type condenser than with the conventional one. The evaluation of the heat transfer performance of the liquid–vapor separation plate condenser and the optimization of its structure design is realized with a validated mathematical model. In this numerical simulation, the performance evaluation criterion and penalty factor are used to assess the refrigerant side performance, while the exergy efficiency is used to evaluate the overall performance, which includes the water-side performance. According to the simulation results, the optimal structure of the liquid–vapor separation plate condenser is achieved when altitude ratio is equal to 0.6 and length ratio is equal to 0.5. In this structure, when the condensation temperature of refrigerant R410A is 20 °C, the heat flux is kW m−2, the mass flux is 50 kg m−2 s−1, the performance evaluation criterion is at 1.13, the penalty factor is at 0.89, and the exergy efficiency is at 0.34. All these values outperform those of conventional plate condenser. Compared with conventional one, the heat transfer coefficients of refrigerant of liquid–vapor separation plate condenser increase by 15.98%, and its the pressure drop increases by 16.45% under the setting conditions.

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A :

Effective heat transfer area [m2]

b :

Corrugation altitude [m]

D h :

Hydraulic diameter [m]

Ė :

Exergy flow [kJ s1]

f :

Friction factor

e :

Specific exergy flow [kJ kg1]

G :

Mass flux [kg m−2 s−1]

g :

Gravitational acceleration [m s−2]

h :

Specific enthalpy [J kg−1]


Heat transfer coefficient of refrigerant [W m−2 K−1]

L :

Plate height [m]


Mass flow rate [kg s−1]

P r :

Prandtl number

q :

Heat flux [W m-2]

Re :

Reynolds number

s :

Specific entropy [kJ kg−1 K−1]

T :

Temperature [°C]

u :

Flow velocity[m s−1]

v :

Specific volume [m3 kg−1]

x :

Vapor quality

ρ :

Density [kg m−3]

μ :

Dynamic viscosity [Pa s]

λ :

Thermal conductivity [W m1 K1)]

ν :

Kinematic viscosity [m2 s1]

γ :

Latent heat of vaporization [J kg−1]

β :

Corrugation angle [rad]

φ :

Enlargement factor

Δp :

Pressure drop [Pa]


Average value




Conventional plate condenser





k :

No. k path, k = 1,2




Liquid–vapor separation plate condenser





g :


r :




w :



Liquid against plate wall






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Correspondence to Yuan Yao.

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Yao, Y., Chen, Y., Chen, J. et al. Numerical simulation and structure optimization of a liquid–vapor separation plate condenser. J Therm Anal Calorim (2021).

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  • Liquid–vapor separation
  • Plate condenser
  • Heat transfer performance
  • Numerical simulation
  • Structure optimization