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Numerical Analysis of Vapor Bubble Growth and Wall Heat Transfer During Flow Boiling of Water in a Microchannel

[+] Author Affiliations
Abhijit Mukherjee, Satish G. Kandlikar

Rochester Institute of Technology

Paper No. IMECE2005-82365, pp. 347-353; 7 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Part B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4222-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The present study is performed to analyze the wall heat transfer mechanisms during growth of a vapor bubble inside a microchannel. The microchannel is of 200 μm square cross section and a vapor bubble begins to grow at one of the walls, with liquid coming in through the channel inlet. The complete Navier-Stokes equations along with continuity and energy equations are solved using the SIMPLER method. The liquid vapor interface is captured using the level set technique. The bubble grows rapidly due to heat transfer from the walls and soon turns into a plug filling the entire channel cross section. The average wall heat transfer at the channel walls is studied for different values of wall superheat and incoming liquid mass flux. The results show that the wall heat transfer increases with wall superheat but is almost unaffected by the liquid flow rate. The bubble growth is found to be the primary mechanism of increasing wall heat transfer as it pushes the liquid against the walls thereby influencing the thermal boundary layer development.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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