Two-phase flow through heated parallel channels is commonly encountered in thermal systems used for power generation, air conditioning, and electronics cooling. Flow boiling is susceptible to instabilities that can lead to maldistribution between the channels and thereby heat transfer performance reductions. In this study, the Ledinegg instability that occurs during flow boiling in two thermally isolated parallel microchannels is studied experimentally. A dielectric liquid (HFE-7100) is delivered to the parallel channels using a constant pressure source. Both channels are uniformly subjected to the same power, which is in increased in steps. Flow visualization is conducted simultaneously with pressure drop, mass flux, and wall temperature measurements to characterize the thermal-fluidic effects of the Ledinegg instability. When the flow in both channels is in the single-phase regime, they have equal wall temperatures due to evenly distributed mass flux delivered to each channel. Boiling incipience in one of the channels triggers the Ledinegg instability which induces a temperature difference between the two channels due to flow maldistribution. The temperature difference between the two channels grows with increasing power until boiling incipience occurs in the second channel. The wall temperatures of both channels then reduce significantly as the flow becomes more evenly distributed. The experimentally observed temperature excursion between the channels is reported here for the first time and provides an improved understanding of the thermal performance implications of the Ledinegg instability in thermally isolated parallel channels.


Flow boiling, Ledinegg instability, Parallel microchannels, Temperature excursion, Two-phase flow

Date of this Version



governhttps:// doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2018.12.017

Published in:

T. Kingston, J.A. Weibel, S.V. Garimella, “Ledinegg Instability-Induced Temperature Excursion between Thermally Isolated, Heated Parallel Microchannels,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 132, pp. 550-536, 2019.