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Experimental Study of Flow Patterns, Pressure Drop and Flow Instabilities in Parallel Rectangular Minichannels

[+] Author Affiliations
Prabhu Balasubramanian, Satish G. Kandlikar

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Paper No. ICMM2004-2371, pp. 475-481; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • ASME 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Rochester, New York, USA, June 17–19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4164-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


The use of phase change heat transfer in parallel minichannels and microchannels is one of the solutions proposed for cooling high heat flux systems. The increase in pressure drop in a two phase system is one of the problems, that need to be studied in detail before proceeding to any design phase. The pressure drop fluctuations in a network of parallel channels connected by a common head need to be addressed for stable operation of flow boiling systems. The current work focuses on studying the pressure-drop fluctuations and flow instabilities in a set of six parallel rectangular minichannels, each with 333 μm hydraulic diameter. Demonized and degassed water was used for all the experiments. Pressure fluctuations are recorded and signal analysis is performed to find the dominant frequencies and their amplitudes. These pressure fluctuations are then mapped to their corresponding flow patterns observed using a high speed camera. The results help us to relate pressure fluctuations to different flow characteristics, and their effect on flow instability.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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