Microchannel component technology for system-wide application in ammonia/water absorption heat pumps

Srinivas Garimella, Matthew D. Determan, J. Mark Meacham, Sangsoo Lee, Timothy C. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A novel miniaturization technology for binary-fluid heat and mass exchange was developed and numerous components were fabricated for demonstration as different parts of an ammonia/water absorption heat pump. Short lengths of microchannel tubes are placed in an array, with several such arrays stacked vertically. The ammonia/water solution flows in falling film/droplet mode on the outside of the tubes while coupling fluid flows through the microchannels. Coupling fluid heat transfer coefficients are extremely high due to the use of microchannel tubes. Effective vapor-solution contact on the absorption side minimizes heat and mass transfer resistances. This concept addresses all the requirements for absorber design in an extremely compact geometry. The technology is suitable for almost all absorption heat pump components (absorbers, desorbers, condensers, rectifiers, and evaporators) and for a wide range of binary-fluid processes. The development of several components for absorption and desorption at different capacities using this technology is reported here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1196
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Absorption
  • Falling film
  • Heat transfer
  • Mass transfer
  • Microchannel
  • Miniaturization


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