Numerical analysis for curved vortex tube optimization

Masoud Bovand, Mohammad Sadegh Valipour, Smith Eiamsa-Ard, Ali Tamayol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Vortex tubes hold promise for developing low cost refrigeration and air conditioning systems. They do not require the use of any moving parts. Moreover, they also do not consume energywhen compressed air is available. In this study, a CFD is conducted to determine the effect of vortex tube curvature on their performance. A three dimensional CFD model that utilizes the RNG k-ε turbulence model is employed for the numerical simulations. The flow and temperature field in curved vortex tubes with curvature angles are simulated in the range of 0° (straight) to 150°. The tangential (swirl), axial velocity components and flow patterns including secondary circulation flow are evaluated. The numerical simulations are verified through comparison with experimental data reported in the literature. The results are then used for evaluating the coefficient of performance (COP) of the vortex tube as a cooling solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Curvature
  • Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube
  • Swirl flow
  • Thermal separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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