Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor

Amitabh Narain

Abstract

This dissertation presents an effective quasi one-dimensional (1-D) computational simulation tool and a full two-dimensional (2-D) computational simulation methodology for steady annular/stratified internal condensing flows of pure vapor. These simulation tools are used to investigate internal condensing flows in both gravity as well as shear driven environments. Through accurate numerical simulations of the full two dimensional governing equations, results for laminar/laminar condensing flows inside mm-scale ducts are presented. The methodology has been developed using MATLAB/COMSOL platform and is currently capable of simulating film-wise condensation for steady (and unsteady flows). Moreover, a novel 1-D solution technique, capable of simulating condensing flows inside rectangular and circular ducts with different thermal boundary conditions is also presented.

The results obtained from the 2-D scientific tool and 1-D engineering tool, are validated and synthesized with experimental results for gravity dominated flows inside vertical tube and inclined channel; and, also, for shear/pressure driven flows inside horizontal channels. Furthermore, these simulation tools are employed to demonstrate key differences of physics between gravity dominated and shear/pressure driven flows. A transition map that distinguishes shear driven, gravity driven, and “mixed” driven flow zones within the non-dimensional parameter space that govern these duct flows is presented along with the film thickness and heat transfer correlations that are valid in these zones. It has also been shown that internal condensing flows in a micro-meter scale duct experiences shear driven flow, even in different gravitational environments.

The full 2-D steady computational tool has been employed to investigate the length of annularity. The result for a shear driven flow in a horizontal channel shows that in absence of any noise or pressure fluctuation at the inlet, the onset of non-annularity is partly due to insufficient shear at the liquid-vapor interface. This result is being further corroborated/investigated by R. R. Naik with the help of the unsteady simulation tool. The condensing flow results and flow physics understanding developed through these simulation tools will be instrumental in reliable design of modern micro-scale and spacebased thermal systems.

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