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Efficacy of Microscopic Interconnected Channels and Surfactants on Enhancing Pool Boiling Heat Transfer

[+] Author Affiliations
Rene Reyes Mazzoco

Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico

Paper No. ICNMM2007-30211, pp. 1123-1132; 10 pages
  • ASME 2007 5th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 5th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Puebla, Mexico, June 18–20, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4272-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3800-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Nucleate pool boiling heat transfer increases with certain liquid mixtures and some coatings over the heater’s surface. The effects of these modifications are best measured by the relative values of the convective heat transfer coefficient that quantify the ability for transferring heat. The mechanisms that increase pool boiling heat transfer are reflected in the formation of smaller bubbles that escape away from the heater’s surface at a higher velocity, than those formed under not enhanced conditions. The bubble diameter depends on a chemical effect from the liquid composition acting at the bubble’s interface, and on the physical effect of the porous coverings to break the bubbles and to allow the resulting vapor flow. The reduction in bubble diameter in liquid mixtures comes from the action of intermolecular forces at the liquid-vapor interface similar to those associated to surfactants. Several studies have concentrated on increasing the heat transfer coefficient in pool using surfactants in concentrations close to the critical micelle concentration (cmc) of the surfactant in the liquid. The surfactants achieve the highest reduction of bubble diameter by accommodating the lowest surface of their molecules at the interface. However, the mixture of 16% ethanol in water also showed an increase in the convective heat transfer coefficient by producing the lowest size of bubbles from any other ethanol-water mixture. Surface tension and sessile drop contact angle for this mixture have a behavior similar to the cmc; therefore, the mixture effect on boiling is explained through the presence of ethanol-hydrated-states accommodated at the interface. Other liquid mixtures, containing propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, ethanol and water, with cmc behavior had been found through surface tension and sessile contact angle measurements, and showed that they increased the heat transfer coefficient. The mechanical effect that increases the heat transfer coefficient with porous coverings has been explained as the breaking of emerging bubbles at the heater’s surface and the proper handling of the resulting vapor flow away from the covering. Experiments with a mesh located at a distance half the bubble diameter, at a specific power supplied, released the bubbles from the heater before finishing its formation increasing their departure frequency. An array of layers of the same mesh produced and additional increment in the heat transfer coefficient if the array is accommodated to favor the gas flow out of the heater’s region.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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