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Bubble dynamics and boiling heat transfer : a study in the absence and in the presence of electric fields

Abstract : Since boiling heat transfer affords a very effective means to transfer heat, it is implemented in numerous technologies and industries ranging from large power generation plants to micro-electronic thermal management. Although having been a subject of research for several decades, an accurate prediction of boiling heat transfer is still challenging due to the complexity of the coupled mechanisms involved. It appears that the boiling heat transfer coefficient is intimately related to bubble dynamics (i.e. bubble nucleation, growth and detachment) as well as factors such as nucleation site density and interaction between neighbouring and successive bubbles. In order to contribute to the understanding of the boiling phenomenon, an experimental investigation of saturated pool boiling from a single or two neighbouring artificial nucleation sites on a polished copper surface has been performed. The bubble growth dynamics has been characterized for different wall superheats and a experimental growth law has been established. The interaction between successive bubbles from the same nucleation site has been studied, showing the bubble shape oscillations that can be caused by these interactions. The forces acting on a growing bubble has been reviewed, and a complete momentum balance has been made for all stages of bubble growth. The curvature along the interface has been measured, and indications concerning the mechanism of bubble detachment have been suggested. The rise of bubble after detachment has been investigated, and the maximum velocity reached before a change of direction has been estimated and compared to existing models from the literature. The interaction between bubbles growing side by side has been studied: the generation and propagation of a wave front during the coalescence of two bubbles has been highlighted. As boiling heat transfer enhancement techniques are being imagined and developed, this study also focuses on the electrohydrodynamic enhancement technique. Boiling experiments have been performed in the presence of electric fields, and their effects on heat transfer and bubble dynamics have been characterized. Although the volume of the bubbles at detachment and the relationship between the bubble frequency and the wall superheat were not affected, the bubble growth curve was modified. The bubbles were elongated in the direction of the electric field, and this elongation was estimated and compared to other studies from the literature. The rising velocity of the bubble was reduced in the presence of electric field, and the behaviour of bubbles growing side by side was modified, the electric field causing the bubbles to repeal each other. These results, obtained in a fully controlled environment, provide compelling evidence that electric fields can be implemented to alter the bubble dynamics and subsequently heat transfer rates during boiling of dielectric fluids.
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  • HAL Id : tel-00876630, version 1

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Samuel Siedel. Bubble dynamics and boiling heat transfer : a study in the absence and in the presence of electric fields. Other [cond-mat.other]. INSA de Lyon, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ISAL0032⟩. ⟨tel-00876630⟩

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