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Micro bubble formation and bubble dissolution in domestic wet central heating systems

DOI: 10.1051/epjconf/20122501016

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16 % of the carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are known to originate from wet domestic central heating systems. Contemporary systems make use of very efficient boilers known as condensing boilers that could result in efficiencies in the 90-100% range. However, research and development into the phenomenon of micro bubbles in such systems has been practically non-existent. In fact, such systems normally incorporate a passive deaerator that is installed as a ‘default’ feature with no real knowledge as to the micro bubble characteristics and their effect on such systems. High saturation ratios are known to occur due to the widespread use of untreated tap water in such systems and due to the inevitable leakage of air into the closed loop circulation system during the daily thermal cycling. The high temperatures at the boiler wall result in super saturation conditions which consequently lead to micro bubble nucleation and detachment, leading to bubbly two phase flow. Experiments have been done on a test rig incorporating a typical 19 kW domestic gas fired boiler to determine the expected saturation ratios and bubble production and dissolution rates in such systems.


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