Microchannel flow boiling is an attractive approach for the thermal management of high-heat-flux elec- tronic devices that are often operated in transient modes. In Part 1 of this two-part study, the dynamic response of a heated 500 μm channel undergoing flow boiling of HFE-7100 is experimentally investigated for a single heat flux pulse. Three heat flux levels exhibiting highly contrasting flow behavior under con- stant heating conditions are used: a low heat flux corresponding to single-phase flow (15 kW/m 2 ), an intermediate heat flux corresponding to continuous flow boiling (75 kW/m 2 ), and a very high heat flux which exceeds critical heat flux and would cause dryout if applied continuously (150 kW/m 2 ). Transient testing is conducted by pulsing between these three heat flux levels and varying the pulse duration. High-frequency measurements of heat flux, wall temperature, pressure drop, and mass flux are synchro- nized to high-speed flow visualizations to characterize the boiling dynamics during the pulses. At the onset of boiling, the dynamic response resembles that of an underdamped mass-spring-damper system subjected to a unit step input. During transitions between single-phase flow and time-periodic flow boil- ing, the wall temperature temporarily over/under-shoots the eventual steady operating temperature ( e.g. , by up to 20 °C) thus demonstrating that transient performance can extend beyond the bounds of steady performance. It is shown that longer duration high-heat-flux pulses (up to ~50% longer in some cases) can be withstood when the fluid in the microchannel is initial boiling, relative to if it is initially in the single-phase flow regime, despite being at an initially higher heat flux and wall temperature prior to the pulse.


Dynamic response, Flow boiling, Microchannel, Heat flux pulse, Transient heating

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