Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics (PhD)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Space-based (satellite, scientific probe, space station, etc.) and millimeter – to – microscale (such as are used in high power electronics cooling, weapons cooling in aircraft, etc.) condensers and boilers are shear/pressure driven. They are of increasing interest to system engineers for thermal management because flow boilers and flow condensers offer both high fluid flow-rate-specific heat transfer capacity and very low thermal resistance between the fluid and the heat exchange surface, so large amounts of heat may be removed using reasonably-sized devices without the need for excessive temperature differences. However, flow stability issues and degradation of performance of shear/pressure driven condensers and boilers due to non-desirable flow morphology over large portions of their lengths have mostly prevented their use in these applications. This research is part of an ongoing investigation seeking to close the gap between science and engineering by analyzing two key innovations which could help address these problems.
First, it is recommended that the condenser and boiler be operated in an innovative flow configuration which provides a non-participating core vapor stream to stabilize the annular flow regime throughout the device length, accomplished in an energy-efficient manner by means of ducted vapor re-circulation. This is demonstrated experimentally.
Second, suitable pulsations applied to the vapor entering the condenser or boiler (from the re-circulating vapor stream) greatly reduce the thermal resistance of the already effective annular flow regime. For experiments reported here, application of pulsations increased time-averaged heat-flux up to 900 % at a location within the flow condenser and up to 200 % at a location within the flow boiler, measured at the heat-exchange surface. Traditional fully condensing flows, reported here for comparison purposes, show similar heat-flux enhancements due to imposed pulsations over a range of frequencies.
Shear/pressure driven condensing and boiling flow experiments are carried out in horizontal mm-scale channels with heat exchange through the bottom surface. The sides and top of the flow channel are insulated. The fluid is FC-72 from 3M Corporation.
Kivisalu, Michael Toomas, "EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN INTERNAL CONDENSING AND BOILING FLOWS: THEIR SENSITIVITY TO PRESSURE FLUCTUATIONS AND HEAT TRANSFER ENHANCEMENTS", Dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2015.