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Cluster Simulation of Refrigeration Systems

Stephen Codyer & Mehdi Raessi
Department of Mechanical Engineering
UMass Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA

Jessica Currie & Vladimir GoldsteinSunwell Technologies, Inc., Woodbridge
ON, Canada

Sunwell Technologies Inc. produces and distributes the slurry ice (Deepchill™) that is an environmentally-friendly way to refrigerate foods and other items in trucks and the like. They commissioned the Computational Multiphase Flows group at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) to provide simulation support to the experimental investigations performed by Sunwell.

Known as a thermo battery, Deepchill uses a flowing ice slurry to keep produce chilled while in a truck. Optimizing the flow and positioning of the slurry is important for keeping the produce chilled in a uniform manner. As these refrigerated systems can be quite large, it would be quite difficult, expensive and time consuming to perform encompassing experimental investigations on real-life systems.

Modeling the non-isothermal flow of the ice slurry allowed Sunwell and the university team to investigate specific design criteria, including average and maximum temperatures of specific domains. The simulations were performed on UMass Dartmouth’s Scientific Computing Group HPC cluster that contrains72 nodes, each with two Intel Xeon (quad-core) processors.

Natural convection and temperature distribution during cooling of a refrigeration unit by using the Deepchill thermo batteries (left to right: t = 5, 8 and 12 seconds).