Dynamic instabilities during flow boiling in a uniformly heated microchannel are investigated. The focus of this Part 2 of the study is on the effect of operating conditions on the instability type and the resulting time-periodic hydrodynamic and thermal oscillations, which have been established after the initial boil- ing incipience event. Part 1 of this study investigated the rapid-bubble-growth instability at the onset of boiling in the same experimental facility. Fluid is driven through the single 500 μm-diameter glass mi- crochannel by maintaining a constant pressure difference between a pressurized upstream reservoir and a reservoir downstream that is open to the ambient, so as to resemble the hydrodynamic boundary condi- tions of an individual channel in a parallel-channel heat sink. Simultaneous high-frequency measurement of pressure drop, mass flux, and wall temperature is synchronized to high-speed flow visualizations en- abling transient characterization of the thermal-fluidic behavior. The effect of flow inertia, inlet liquid subcooling, and heat flux on the hydrodynamic and thermal oscillations and time-averaged performance is assessed. Two predominant dynamic instabilities are observed: a time-periodic series of rapid-bubble- growth instabilities, and the pressure drop instability. A spectral analysis of the time-periodic data is performed to determine the characteristic oscillation frequencies. The heat flux, ratio of flow inertia to upstream compressibility, and degree of inlet liquid subcooling significantly affect the thermal-fluidic characteristics. High inlet liquid subcoolings and low heat fluxes result in time-periodic transitions be- tween single-phase flow and flow boiling that cause large-amplitude wall temperature oscillations due to a time-periodic series of rapid-bubble-growth instabilities. Low inlet liquid subcoolings result in small- amplitude thermal-fluidic oscillations and the pressure drop instability. Low flow inertia exacerbates the pressure drop instability and results in large-amplitude thermal-fluidic oscillations whereas high flow inertia reduces their severity.


Dynamic flow boiling instability, Microchannel, Pressure drop instability, Rapid-bubble-growth instability, Two-phase flow

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T. A. Kingston, J. A. Weibel, and S. V. Garimella, “High‐Frequency Thermal‐Fluidic Characterization of Dynamic Microchannel Flow Boiling Instabilities: Part 2 ‐ Impact of Operating Conditions on Instability Type and Severity,” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 106, pp. 189-201, 2018.