Flow regime-based modeling of heat transfer and pressure drop in microchannel flow boiling

Tannaz Harirchian, Purdue University
Suresh V. Garimella, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer Volume 55, Issue 4, 31 January 2012, Pages 1246–1260


Local heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops during boiling of the dielectric liquid fluorinert FC-77 in parallel microchannels were experimentally investigated in recent work by the authors. Detailed visualizations of the corresponding two-phase flow regimes were performed as a function of a wide range of operational and geometric parameters. A new transition criterion was developed for the delineation of a regime where microscale effects become important to the boiling process and a conventional, macroscale treatment becomes inadequate. A comprehensive flow regime map was developed for a wide range of channel dimensions and experimental conditions, and consisted of four distinct regions - bubbly, slug, confined annular, and alternating churn/annular/wispy-annular flow regimes. In the present work, physics-based analyses of local heat transfer in each of the four regimes of the comprehensive map are formulated. Flow regime-based models for prediction of heat transfer coefficient in slug flow and annular/wispy-annular flow are developed and compared to the experimental data. Also, a regime-based prediction of pressure drop in microchannels is presented by computing the pressure drop during each flow regime that occurs along the microchannel length. The results of this study reveal the promise of flow regime-based modeling efforts for predicting heat transfer and pressure drop in microchannel boiling. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology