"Troubleshooting and servicing modern air conditioning and refrigeration systems" by John Tomczyk. Mr Tomczyk has a degree in mechanical engineering and his books reflect that. www.powells.com/technicalbooks might be a good place to start.
I understand the concept of "quality" with respect to two-phase refrigerant flow, but what puzzles me here is "why" one would have a need to physically measure this value in an operating system?
Normally, we measure the refrigerant state at the beginning and at the end of the evaporator or the condenser. Those points can easily be measured with pressures and temperatures. The varying quality of the refrigerant in between those points becomes much more problematic to get a reading for, since quality doesn't follow the P/T rules directly.
Perhaps if you divulge the reason one might need to physically take snapshots of a refrigerant's active phase change, we may get a better idea of how we may help.
Are you looking to further cost-reduce a system's heat exchangers...or something to that effect?
The phase change in the condenser and evaporator is never the same, unless every aspect of it is the same, including the ambient temp crossing the coils, the swirls picked up by the liquid refrigerant as it goes through the tubing, the humidity of the air crossing the coils and even the amount of surface oxidation present on the coils. Any variation will alter the composition of the refrigerant.
I think you are failing to grasp that the condenser and evaporator are the results of years of research and design, not trial and error as you claim. That is why "x" coil must be matched to "y" OD unit, and why each matching is engineered to provide "z" cooling and heating at stated design conditions. Research and design, not some group of engineers trying different matches.
With all due respect things could be done better. It always comes down to first costs compared to lifetime costs. If we follow the "KISS" school we have something that is adequate and understandable. As long as energy costs are cheap enough there is no reason to spend a thousand bucks to save a hundred.
Flooded evaporator or not I still suggest looking at what has been done with chillers. More meaningful advances have taken place there. A household refrigerator just doesn't consume enough energy dollars for the same advances to be worthwhile.
I'm not intimately familiar with how domestic a refrigerator's system components are matched, but if the premise here is that it is done primarily by trial and error then so be it.
I am somewhat familiar with how commercial and industrial systems' components are matched up however. Most commonly, such system components have their performance characteristics pretty well defined and as such that performance may be easily predicted over a wide range of conditions using computer modeling programs which have been readily available to design engineers for over 30 years or so. Prior to that, their performance was calculated using slide rules...a rather tedious method, but quite effective regardless.
All predictive models use varying degrees of estimation, assumption and slop...the latter being better defined as a safety factor to account for possible error. Today's programs will produce far more accurate results than those of the old days and in doing so, the resulting performance of the total system will reflect a much more accurate picture of real-world operation.
So with all that said, is your goal one of "reinventing the wheel" or simply refining it further?
Adding a thought here...I know that nearly every domestic refrigeration system is designed utilizing a capillary tube as its refrigerant metering device. Cap tubes a the essence of simplicity, very effective and inexpensive to produce but they have historically been quite elusive when it comes to predicting performance. It is one component which is still very much selected on the basis of trial and error.
I would like to point out a new predictive program recently written by Andy Schoen of Tecumseh Products which is based on the Wolf-Pate Correlation as published in ASHRAE and is unquestionably the best one to date. I would post a link to it, but since it's in Beta at this point, I'm not sure if Andy want's it released in this general forum area. Perhaps he will chime in on this soon. ;)
Calculating quality of refrigerant as it flows thru the evaporator or condenser can be done with NIST RefProp http://www.nist.gov/srd/nist23.cfm
Not for the faint hearted, however. One should have an understanding of the various two-phase flow models. I find the Dukler model useful in this regard.
It would be helpful to understand calculus to do the necessary math. ;)
newbieeng I think plotting a Pressure Enthalpy chart will help you. with the required data and some basic math you will gain much of the information you are looking for.