Numerical simulation of growth of a vapor bubble during flow boiling of water in a microchannel

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Title: Numerical simulation of growth of a vapor bubble during flow boiling of water in a microchannel
Author: Mukherjee, A.; Kandlikar, Satish
Abstract: The present study is performed to numerically analyze the growth of a vapor bubble during flow of water through a microchannel. The complete Navier- Stokes equations, along with continuity and energy equations, are solved using the SIMPLER (semi-implicit method for pressure-linked equations revised) method. The liquid—vapor interface is captured using the level set technique. The microchannel is 200-um square in cross section and the bubble is placed at the center of the channel with superheated liquid around it. The results show steady initial bubble growth followed by a rapid axial expansion after the bubble fills the channel cross section. A trapped liquid layer is observed between the bubble and the channel as it elongates. The bubble growth rate increased with the incoming liquid superheat, but decreased with Reynolds number. The formation of a vapor patch at the walls is found to be dependent on the time the bubble takes to fill up the channel. The upstream interface of the bubble is found to exhibit both forward and reverse movement during bubble growth. The results show little effect of gravity on the bubble growth rate under the specified conditions. The bubble growth features obtained from the numerical results are found to be qualitatively similar to experimental observations.
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Date: 2005-05

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