Abstract Capillary tubes are extensively used in several cooling applications like refrigeration, electronic cooling etc. Local pressure variation in adiabatic straight capillary tube (mini channel) is studied experimentally and numerically with R134a as the working fluid. Experiments are performed on two straight capillary tubes. It is found that the diameter is the most sensitive design parameter of the capillary tube. Experiments are performed on five helically coiled capillary tubes to quantify the effect of pitch and curvature of helically coiled capillary tube on the pressure drop. Non dimensionalized factor to account coiling of capillary tube is derived to calculate mass flow rate in helically coiled capillary tubes. Flow visualization in adiabatic capillary tube confirms the bubbly nature of two phase flow. Numerical and experimental investigations in diabatic capillary tube suggest that the use of positive displacement pump and choking at the exit of the channel ensures flow stability. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.