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Thermal Transport in a Microchannel Exhibiting Transverse Ultrahydrophobic Micro-Ribs Maintained at Constant Temperature

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Davies, D. Maynes, B. W. Webb

Brigham Young University

Paper No. IMECE2006-16266, pp. 673-680; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Microelectromechanical Systems
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Microelectromechanical Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4775-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


There exists considerable incentive for reducing the required pumping power in microscale heat exchanger applications. One approach recently proposed is the use of super ultrahydrophobic channel walls. The influence such walls exert on the overall thermal transport has not been previously addressed and is the focus of this paper. Specifically, this paper presents numerical results exploring the periodically repeating thermal transport in a parallel plate microchannel with ultrahydrophobic walls maintained at constant temperature. The walls considered here exhibit alternating microribs and cavities positioned perpendicular to the flow direction. Results describing the thermally periodically repeating dynamics far from the inlet of the channel have been obtained over a range of flow Reynolds numbers and relative microrib/cavity widths and depths in the laminar flow regime. Previously it has been shown that significant reductions in the overall frictional pressure drop can be achieved relative to the classical smooth channel laminar flow. The present predictions reveal that the overall thermal transport is also reduced as the relative size of the cavity region is increased. The overall Nusselt number behavior is presented and discussed in conjunction with the frictional pressure drop behavior for the parameter range explored. In summary the following conclusions can be made regarding thermal transport for a constant temperature channel exhibiting ultrahydrophobic surfaces: 1) Increases in the shear free fraction (relative cavity length) yields decreases in the Nusselt number 2) increasing the relative rib/cavity module length yields a decrease in the Nusselt number 3) decreases in the Reynolds number result in smaller values of the Nusselt number and 4) the relative cavity depth exhibits negligible influence on the magnitude of the Nusselt number.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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