The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of gravity on the heat transfer behavior of the two-phase flow of water undergoing phase change. Most of the earlier studies of convective boiling considered systems where the gravity is neglected. In contrast, the authors investigated systems where the gravity is considered. The heat transfer characteristics of water during its evaporation in microchannel heat sink are studied for different channel inclinations.
Computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS Fluent is used for the computational study. The volume of fluids multiphase method available in the package is used to capture the vapor–liquid interface. Heat transfer studies are carried out for a rectangular microchannel having a characteristic dimension of 825 µm at different inclinations, which varied from −90° (vertically downward) to 90° (vertically upward). During each simulation, the vapor quality is set at the inlet. Uniform heat flux of 250 kW/m2 is applied at the bottom wall of the channel in all orientations of the channel, keeping the upper wall insulated.
As compared to horizontal configuration, a significant increase in the values of heat transfer coefficient during the fluid flow in inclined microchannels is noticed. It is observed that the Nusselt number for the vertically upward (+90°) and horizontal (0°) configuration are similar and that for the 45° upward configuration exceeds other configurations. It is also observed that the heat transfer performance becomes lower in downward configurations; nearly 40-50 per cent drop in average Nusselt number is observed for a mass flux of 250 kg m-2 s-1 with respect to 45° inclined microchannel. This behavior can be attributed to the gravitational effect on the two-phase flow because of which the vapor phase being less dense moves away from the heated wall, whereas the primary phase being heavier moves towards the heated wall of the channel. Also, the conductivity of the liquid being higher than the vapor phase, as well as the aperture of the liquid being small during this process, its velocity increases resulting in the augmentation of heat transfer.
User-defined-functions for the mass and energy source terms have been written in C code and hooked in ANSYS Fluent to incorporate the phase change mechanism during the evaporation of water.
SVB, V. and VRK, R. (2019), "Numerical study on evaporation heat transfer characteristics of water in inclined microchannels with varying inlet vapor quality", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 125-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJE-12-2017-0417Download as .RIS
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