Enhanced boiling heat transfer on micro/nano structured surfaces
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Boiling heat transfer is a critical process in large-scale industrial applications such as steam engines and heat exchangers in power plants, and in microscopic heat transfer devices such as heat pipes and microchannels for cooling electronic chips. Enhancing boiling heat transfer thus has great significance on lots of energy transportation and utilization systems. Recent studies has suggested that micro/nano structured surfaces can produce considerably different boiling heat transfer curves than normal plain surfaces, resulting in different values of the critical heat flux (CHF) and heat transfer coefficient (HTC). In this thesis, pool boiling on several new micro/nano structured surfaces was experimentally investigated to further understand the mechanism of boiling heat transfer and increase boiling performance. We first evaluated enhanced boiling heat transfer on three kinds of micro/nano structured super-hydrophilic surfaces: 1) nanowire coated super-hydrophilic surfaces, 2) hybrid microscale cavity and nanowire structured surfaces and 3) hybrid microscale pillar and nanowire structured surfaces. All three surfaces showed significant enhancement of CHF and HTC compared to plain silicon surfaces. Combined micro/nano structured surfaces presented better performance than nanowire coated surfaces suggesting that both active nucleation density and surface roughness significantly affect boiling heating transfer. Experimental investigations indicate an optimum design both in size (~ 20μ𝑚) and density (between 0 and 10000=cm^2) of cavities for microscale cavity/nanowire structured surfaces. The highest CHF and peak HTC values were obtained on microscale pillar/nanowire structured surfaces. Among the test surfaces, the largest enhancements of CHF and peak HTC were 228% and 298%, respectively, compared to plain silicon surfaces. For a better understanding of the boiling phenomena, pool boiling on super-hydrophobic surfaces was also studied. We found that, for super-hydrophobic surfaces, the major heat transfer mechanism at the initial boiling regime is natural convection of liquid water. In conclusion, micro/nano structured surfaces can greatly influence nucleate boiling heat transfer. The various physical attributes employed with the structured surfaces further revealed the profound influence of surface topography on enhancing boiling heat transfer.
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