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Electrostatic Suppression of the Leidenfrost State Using AC Voltages

[+] Author Affiliations
Onur Ozkan, Vaibhav Bahadur

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. IMECE2017-70203, pp. V008T10A076; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5843-1
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The Leidenfrost effect is a well-known phenomenon in boiling, wherein a vapor layer forms between a hot surface and the liquid, thereby degrading heat transfer. Electrowetting (EW) can be used to fundamentally eliminate the Leidenfrost state by electrostatically attracting the liquid towards the surface; the resulting enhanced wetting substantially increases heat transfer. This work presents preliminary results of a study to understand the influence of AC voltages on Leidenfrost state suppression; prior studies have only utilized DC voltages. It is seen that the AC frequency is a very important determinant of the effectiveness of Leidenfrost state suppression. The electrostatic force which attracts the liquid to the surface decreases with increasing AC frequency; this reduces the extent of suppression. This effect is measured and studied by high speed visualization of suppression as well as measurements of the evaporation/boiling rate under AC EW conditions. It is observed that the instabilities (resulting in suppression) at the vapor-liquid interface reduce at higher frequency. The evaporation rate also reduces with AC frequency, as less heat is picked up by the droplet. It is noted that the evaporation rate has lower and upper bounds, which correspond to the evaporation rates without any EW and with DC voltage, respectively. Overall, this work highlights the importance of the AC frequency as a tool to control the extent of suppression and the boiling heat transfer rate.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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