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Vortex Tube for cabinet cooling

  1. Jan 6, 2015 #1
    Hi, I'm a mechatronics student and I am currently working on a project on the effectiveness of a vortex tube to cool a cabinet. The cabinet has a thermostat inside and if the temperature exceeds a threshold, an air compressor is turned on, causing the vortex tube to cool the cabinet. The cabinet has a power in (Pin) and drives 2 motors (Pout1 and Pout2). Inside the cabinet, there are pieces of electrical equipment which have their own maximum ambient temperature rating in which they can operate in; some may even dissipate small amounts of heat.

    The factors that need to be examined and quantified are:

    1.The cooling capacity of the cabinet (i.e. how much heat can it dissipate by itself, does it even require the vortex tube, if so, how much heat needs to be removed),

    2.Assuming it's required, can a vortex tube remove the amount of heat? If so, determine the optimum settings of the vortex tube,

    3.The peak flow rate,

    4.The required air pressure,

    5.The air consumption requirements

    So far I am thinking of examining the Pin ,Pout1 and Pout2 and assuming that the difference is heat dissipated. I have looked at the maximum allowable operating environment of the electrical devices.

    I have access to the data of all the electronic components and the physical cabinet/vortex tube set up. I have placed a couple of temperature loggers inside the cabinet during operation for a few weeks to get an indication of the temperatures which can be expected. I am just after some guidance as to how to best approach this project, even though I've taken some steps (those I've mentioned), I still feel a bit lost and scattered. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have attached a picture of the set up.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2015 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    Gold Member

    Surely you must consider the cost?
  4. Jan 6, 2015 #3

    jim hardy

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Seems to me this is a heat flow problem.
    Why not start quantifying that ?
    What units will you use - watts, BTU/hour, calories/second?
    How did they rate your vortex tube? And the components to be cooled ? And conduction through cabinet walls?
  5. Jan 6, 2015 #4
    The cost of operation is minimised by optimising the settings of the vortex tube
  6. Jan 6, 2015 #5
    I will be using Watts. The vortex tube has a number of different vortex generator inserts which all have a different ratings in BTU/hour. Selecting the best one is part of determining the optimal vertex settings so the cooling requirements are met with the least amount of air. The components inside have a temperature rating in degrees C, I was planning on determining the most temperature dependent component which will thus help determine the threshold temperature of the thermostat.
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