Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2014, 2(9), 567-574
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-2-9-7
Open AccessArticle

Flow Field Analysis and Defrosting Cycle Optimization in a Large-scale Industrial Cold- storage Facility

Enhai Liu1, Tingting Yu1, Shengyong Liu2, and Hongwei Liu1

1School of Energy and Building Environment Engineering, Henan University of Urban Construction, Pingdingshan, China

2Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy of Ministry of Agriculture, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China

Pub. Date: September 03, 2014

Cite this paper:
Enhai Liu, Tingting Yu, Shengyong Liu and Hongwei Liu. Flow Field Analysis and Defrosting Cycle Optimization in a Large-scale Industrial Cold- storage Facility. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2014; 2(9):567-574. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-2-9-7


We report a joint theoretical and experiment analysis of an industrial cold-storage unit for a large-scale poultry processing enterprise in the Central Plains Economic Zone of China. The flow field inside the unit was analyzed using computational fluid dynamics, which identified an optimum forced air supply of 2.05 m s-1. The defrosting cycle was then optimized experimentally, resulting in an improved defrosting method and a monthly saving of 5,530 RMB in electricity costs. Furthermore, we achieved a reduction in the temperature variation of 1.82% and in the coefficient of performance variation of 1.89%. The refrigerating capacity and electricity costs per unit of production were decreased by 8.30% and 10.20%, respectively.

cold storage numerical simulation flow-field characteristics defrosting cycle optimization

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Bansal, P., Fothergill, D., Fernandes, R., 2010. Thermal analysis of the defrost cycle in a domestic freezer. International Journal of Refrigeration 33 (3), 589-599.
[2]  Chourasia, M.K., Goswami, T.K., 2007. Steady state CFD modeling of airflow, heat transfer and moisture loss in a commercial potato cold store. International Journal of Refrigeration. 30, 672-689.
[3]  Chourasia, M.K., Goswami, T.K., 2007. Three dimensional modeling on airflow, heat and mass transfer in partially impermeable enclosure containing agricultural produce during natural convective cooling. Energy Conversion and Management. 48, 2136-2149.
[4]  Demir, H., Mobedi, M., Ulku, S., 2010. The use of metal piece additives to enhance heat transfer rate through an unconsolidated adsorbent bed. Int. J. Refrigeration 33, 714-720.
[5]  Deng, D., Xu, L., Xu, S., 2003. Experimental investigation on the performance of air cooler under frosting conditions. Appl. Therm. Eng. 23, 905-912.
[6]  Foster, A.M., Barrett, S.J., James, J., Swain, M.J., 2002. Measurement and prediction of air movement through doorways in refrigerated rooms. International Journal of Refrigeration 25 (8), 1102-1109.
[7]  Foster, A.M., Swain, M.J., Barrett, R., James, S.J., 2003. Experimental verification of analytical and CFD predictions of infiltration through cold store entrances. International Journal of Refrigeration 26 (8), 918-925.
[8]  Ho, S.H., Rosario, L., Rahman, M.M., 2010. Numerical simulation of temperature and velocity in a refrigerated warehouse. International Journal of Refrigeration 33, 1015-1025.
[9]  Hoffenbecker, N., Klein, S.A., Reindl, D.T., 2005. Hot gas defrost model development and validation. Int. J. Refrigeration 28,605–15.
[10]  Hu, Z., Sun, D.W., 2001. Predicting local surface heat transfer coefficients by different turbulent k-ε models to simulate heat and moisture transfer during air-blast chilling. Int. J. Refrigeration 24, 702-717.
[11]  Huang, D., Li, Q., Yuan, X., 2009. Comparison between hot-gas bypass defrosting and reverse-cycle defrosting methods on an air-to-water heat pump. Applied Energy 86 (9), 1697-1703.
[12]  Krakow, K.I., Yan, L., Lin, S.A., 1992. Model of hot-gas defrosting of evaporators-Part 1: heat and mass transfer theory ASHRAE Trans 98 Part 1 451-461.
[13]  Lenic, K., Trp, A., Frankovic, B., 2009. Prediction of an effective cooling output of the fin-and-tube heat exchanger under frosting conditions. Appl. Therm. Eng. 29, 2534-2543.
[14]  Liu, Z., Zhu, H., Wang, H., 2005. Study on transient distributed model of frost on heat pump evaporators. J. Asian. Archit. Build Eng. 4, 265-270.
[15]  Mao, Y., Besant, R.W., Chen, H., 1999. Frosting characteristics and heat transfer on a flat under freezer operating conditions: Part 1, Experimentation and correlations. ASHRAE Trans. 105, 231-251.
[16]  Nahor, H.B., Hoang, M.L., Verboven, P., Baelmans, M., Nicolaï, B.M., 2005. CFD model of the airflow, heat and mass transfer in cool stores. International Journal of Refrigeration 28, 368-380.
[17]  Rouaud, O., Haver,M., 2002. Computation of the air flow in a pilot scale clean room using k-ε turbulence models. Int. J. Refrigeration 25, 351-361.
[18]  Smale, N.J., Moureh, J., Cortella, G., 2006. A review of numerical models of airflow in refrigerated food applications. International Journal of Refrigeration 29 (6), 911-930.
[19]  Solmus, I., Rees, D.A.S., Yamalı, C., Baker, D., Kaftanoglu, B., 2012. Numerical investigation of coupled heat and mass transfer inside the adsorbent bed of an adsorption cooling unit. Int. J. Refrigeration 35, 652-662.
[20]  Sung, Jhee., Kwan-Soo, Lee., Woo-Seung, Kim., 2002. Effect of surface treatments on the frosting/defrosting behavior of a fin-tube heat exchanger. International Journal of Refrigeration 25, 1047-1053.
[21]  Wan, J.K., Zhang, Q., Cao, G.R., 2008. A simple model to calculate the defrosting electrical energy input and the ways to optimize the air cooler,s electro-thermal defrosting system. Journal of Shanghai Fisheries University 17 (2), 227-231.
[22]  Wang, CC., Chang, CT., 1998. Heat and mass transfer for plate fin-and-tube heat exchangers, with and without hydrophilic coating. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 41, 3109-3120.
[23]  Wang, J.F., Hu, X.F., Liu, C.Y., Jiang, W.Q., 1995. Air field simulation of freezing store. Cold storage Technology 4, 4-17(in Chinese).
[24]  Xie, J., Qu X.H., Xu S.Q., 2005. Numerical simulation and verification of airflow in cold-store. 21, 11-15.
[25]  Xie, J., Qu X.H., Shi J.Y., Sun, D.W., 2006. Effects of design parameters on flow and temperature fields of a cold store by CFD simulation. J Food Eng 77, 355-363.
[26]  Yang, Z., Xu, XL., Li, XH., 2007. Simulation and experiment on the unsteady 3D flow field of cool store. J Tianjing Univ Sci Technol 40, 157-162.
[27]  Yin, H.J., Yang, Z., Chen, A.Q., Zhang, N., 2012. Experimental research on a novel cold storage defrost method based on air bypass circulation and electric heater. Energy 37, 623-631.
[28]  Zhang, P., Hrnjak, P.S., 2009. Air-side performance evaluation of three types of heat exchangers in dry, wet and periodic frosting conditions. Int. J. Refrigeration 32, 911-921.
[29]  Zhou, G., Zhang, Y., 2006. Numerical and experimental investigation on the performance of coiled adiabatic capillary tubes. Appl. Thermal Eng. 26, 1106-1114.