Numerical study of bubble growth and wall heat transfer during flow boiling in a microchannel

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A numerical study has been performed to analyze the wall heat transfer mechanisms during growth of a vapor bubble inside a microchannel. The microchannel is of 200 μm square cross section and a vapor bubble begins to grow at one of the walls, with liquid coming in through the channel inlet. The complete Navier-Stokes equations along with continuity and energy equations are solved using the SIMPLER method. The liquid vapor interface is captured using the level set technique. Experiments have been conducted to validate the numerical model. The bubble growth rate and shapes show good agreement between numerical and experimental results. The numerical results show that the wall heat transfer increases with wall superheat but stays almost unaffected by the liquid flow rate. The liquid vapor surface tension value has little influence on bubble growth and wall heat transfer. However, the bubble with the lowest contact angle resulted in the highest wall heat transfer. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer