RESEARCH PAPERS: Boiling and Condensation

Experimental Study and Modeling of the Intermediate Section of the Nonisothermal Constrained Vapor Bubble

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Karthikeyan, J. Huang, J. Plawsky, P. C. Wayner

The Isermann Department of Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180

J. Heat Transfer 120(1), 166-173 (Feb 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2830040 History: Received January 24, 1997; Revised October 07, 1997; Online January 07, 2008


The generic nonisothermal constrained vapor bubble (CVB) is a miniature, closed heat transfer device capable of high thermal conductance that uses interfacial forces to recirculate the condensate on the solid surface constraining the vapor bubble. Herein, for the specific case of a large length-to-width ratio it is equivalent to a wickless heat pipe. Experiments were conducted at various heat loads on a pentane/quartz CVB to measure the fundamental governing parameter fields: temperature, pressure, and liquid film curvature. An “intermediate” section with a large effective axial thermal conductivity was identified wherein the temperature remains nearly constant. A one-dimensional steady-state model of this intermediate section was developed and solved numerically to yield pressure, velocity, and liquid film curvature profiles. The experimentally obtained curvature profiles agree very well with those predicted by the Young-Laplace model. The operating temperature of the CVB was found to be a function of the operating pressure and not a function of the heat load. Due to experimental design limitations, the fundamental operating limits of the CVB were not reached.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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