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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Natural Convection in a Vertical Microchannel

[+] Author and Article Information
Cha’o-Kuang Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, Republic of Chinackchen@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Huei Chu Weng

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, Republic of China

J. Heat Transfer 127(9), 1053-1056 (Apr 20, 2005) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1999651 History: Received November 24, 2003; Revised April 20, 2005

It is highly desirable to understand the fluid flow and the heat transfer characteristics of buoyancy-induced micropump and microheat exchanger in microfluidic and thermal systems. In this study, we analytically investigate the fully developed natural convection in an open-ended vertical parallel-plate microchannel with asymmetric wall temperature distributions. Both of the velocity slip and the temperature jump conditions are considered because they have countereffects both on the volume flow rate and the heat transfer rate. Results reveal that in most of the natural convection situations, the volume flow rate at microscale is higher than that at macroscale, while the heat transfer rate is lower. It is, therefore, concluded that the temperature jump condition induced by the effects of rarefaction and fluid-wall interaction plays an important role in slip-flow natural convection.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Geometric sketch and parameters of natural convection in the microchannel

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Temperature distribution for (a) different values of βvKn with In=1.667, (b) different values of In with βvKn=0.05

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Velocity distribution for (a) different values of βvKn with In=1.667, (b) different values of In with βvKn=0.05

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

(a) Volume flow rate, (b) heat transfer rate versus βvKn for different values of In

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