Nucleate Pool Boiling Characteristics From a Horizontal Microheater Array
Henry, Christopher Douglas
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Pool boiling heat transfer measurements from different heater sizes and shapes were obtained in low-g (0.01 g) and high-g (1.7 g) aboard the NASA operated KC-135 aircraft. Boiling on 4 square heater arrays of different size (0.65 mm2, 2.62 mm2, 7.29 mm2, 49 mm2) was investigated. The heater arrays consist of 96 independent square heaters that were maintained at an isothermal boundary condition using control circuitry. A fractional factorial experimental method was designed to investigate the effects of bulk liquid subcooling, wall superheat, gravitational level, heater size and aspect ratio, and dissolved gas concentration on pool boiling behavior. In high-g, pool boiling behavior was found to be consistent with classical models for nucleate pool boiling in 1-g. For heater sizes larger than the isolated bubble departure diameter predicted from the Fritz correlation, the transport process was dominated by the ebullition cycle and the primary mechanisms for heat transfer were transient conduction and microconvection to the rewetting liquid in addition to latent heat transfer. For heater sizes smaller than this value, the boiling process is dominated by surface tension effects which can cause the formation of a single primary bubble that does not depart the heater surface and a strong reduction in heat transfer. In low-g, pool boiling performance is always dominated by surface tension effects and two mechanisms were identified to dominate heat and mass transport: 1) satellite bubble coalescence with the primary bubble which tends to occur at lower wall superheats and 2) thermocapillary convection at higher wall superheats and higher bulk subcoolings. Satellite bubble coalescence was identified to be the CHF mechanism under certain conditions. Thermocapillary convection caused a dramatic enhancement in heat transfer at higher subcoolings and is modeled analytically. Lastly, lower dissolved gas concentrations were found to enhance the heat transfer in low-g. At higher dissolved gas concentrations, bubbles grow larger and dryout a larger portion of the heater surface.