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Multidimensional Modeling of Condensing Two-Phase Ejector Flow

Condensing ejectors utilize the beneficial thermodynamics of condensation to produce an exiting static pressure that can be in excess of either entering static pressure. The phase change process is driven by both turbulent mixing and interphase heat transfer. Semi-empirical models can be used in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to gain some understanding of how condensing ejectors should be designed and operated. The current work describes the construction of a multidimensional simulation capability built around an Eulerian pseudo-fluid approach. The transport equations for mass and momentum treat the two phases as a continuous mixture. The fluid is treated as being in a non-thermodynamic equilibrium state, and a modified form of the homogenous relaxation model (HRM) is employed. This model was originally intended for representing flash-boiling, but with suitable modification, the same ideas could be used for condensing flow. The computational fluid dynamics code is constructed using the open-source OpenFOAM library. Fluid properties are evaluated using the REFPROP database from NIST, which includes many common fluids and refrigerants. The working fluids used are water and carbon dioxide. For ejector flow, simulations using carbon dioxide are more stable than with water. Using carbon dioxide as the working fluid, the results of the validation simulations show a pressure rise that is comparable to experimental data. It is also observed that the flow is near thermodynamic equilibrium in the diffuser for these cases, suggesting that turbulence effects present the greatest challenge in modeling these ejectors.