Single-phase liquid flow and heat transfer in plain and enhanced silicon microchannels

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Title: Single-phase liquid flow and heat transfer in plain and enhanced silicon microchannels
Author: Steinke, Mark
Abstract: Microscale heat transfer and microfluidics have become increasingly important to overcome some very complex engineering challenges. The use of very small passages to gain heat transfer enhancement is a well documented method for achieving high heat flux dissipation. However, some interesting experimental results have caused researchers to question if the conventional theories for fluid flow and heat transfer are valid in the microscale passages. However, there is no significant physical basis for the discrepancies with singlephase liquid flows when the passage is scaled to the microscale. The present work identifies the sources of the discrepancies reported in literature and provides a method to correct for them. In the course of this pursuit, a new experimental facility is developed to generate highly accurate experimental data for single-phase flow of water. The new experimental data are used to highlight the sources of discrepancies and illustrate a course of action to correct for them. Finally, a novel method for creating even greater heat transfer enhancement has been realized. Small offset fins have been fabricated in silicon microchannels in order to create a constantly developing flow in the microchannel heat exchanger and thus heat transfer enhancement. A new parameter based upon the heat flux dissipated and the pressure drop required is developed to aid in the comparison between these enhanced silicon microchannels and plain geometry silicon microchannels. The result is an order of magnitude increase in thermal performance with a marginal increase in overall pressure drop.
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Date: 2005-08-11

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