Volume of fluid simulation of boiling flow in a vapor-venting microchannel

Fang, C., David, M., Rogacs, A., and Goodson, K.E., 2010, "Volume of Fluid Simulation of Boiling Flow in a Vapor-Venting Microchannel," Frontiers of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 1, 013002.

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Vapor-venting microchannel heat exchangers are promising because they address the problems of high pressure drop, flow instability, and local dryout that are common in conventional two-phase microchannel heat sinks. We present a 3D numerical simulation of the vapor-venting process in a rectangular microchannel bounded on one side by a hydrophobic porous membrane for phase-separation. The simulation is based on the volume of fluid (VOF) method together with models for interphase mass transfer and capillary force. Simulation shows the vapor-venting mechanism can effectively mitigate the vapor accumulation issue, reduce the pressure drop, and suppress the local dry-out in the microchannel. Pressure surge is observed in the vapor-venting channel. The simulation provides some insight into the design and optimization of vapor-venting heat exchangers.

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