Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

Pool Boiling Heat Transfer on the International Space Station: Experimental Results and Model Verification

[+] Author and Article Information
Rishi Raj1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Jungho Kim2

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742kimjh@umd.edu

John McQuillen

 NASA Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135

The thermophysical properties of FC-72 are very similar to those of n-perfluorohexane. Detailed compositions of both fluids are given in Ref. [15].


Present address: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139.


Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(10), 101504 (Aug 07, 2012) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006846 History: Received December 22, 2011; Revised April 30, 2012; Published August 06, 2012; Online August 07, 2012

The relatively poor understanding of gravity effects on pool boiling heat transfer can be attributed to the lack of long duration high-quality microgravity data, g-jitter associated with ground-based low gravity facilities, little data at intermediate gravity levels, and a poor understanding of the effect of important parameters even at earth gravity conditions. The results of over 200 pool boiling experiments with n-perfluorohexane as the test fluid performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are presented in this paper. A flat, transparent, constant temperature microheater array was used to perform experiments over a wide range of temperatures (55 °C < Tw  < 107.5 °C), pressures (0.58 atm < P < 1.86 atm), subcoolings (1 °C ≤ ΔTsub ≤ 26 °C), and heater sizes (4.2 mm ≤ Lh ≤ 7.0 mm). The boiling process was visualized from the side and bottom. Based on this high quality microgravity data (a/g<10−6 ), the recently reported gravity scaling parameter for heat flux, which was primarily based on parabolic flight experiments, was modified to account for these new results. The updated model accurately predicts the experimental microgravity data to within ±20%. The robustness of this framework in predicting low gravity heat transfer is further demonstrated by predicting many of the trends in the pool boiling literature that cannot be explained by any single model.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 9

Experimental earth gravity and microgravity pool boiling curves along with the microgravity predictions assuming mSDB  = 0 (test no 1–4, test fluid is n-perfluorohexane)

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Figure 10

Experimental earth gravity and microgravity pool boiling curves along with the microgravity predictions assuming mSDB  = 0 (test no 5–7, test fluid is n-perfluorohexane)

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Figure 11

Comparison of the experimental data and predicted heat flux values in the SDB regime using (a) Eq. 6 and (b) Eq. 11

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Figure 12

Comparison of the numerical simulation [19] and the current scaling law in predicting microgravity heat transfer of Qui [20]

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Figure 1

Heat flux versus acceleration at a given temperature T* using log–log coordinates

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Figure 2

The dependence of jump on (a) Marangoni number, (b) heater size, and (c) subcooling heat

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Figure 3

BXF mounted in MSG with transparent CV (inset: view inside the boiling chamber housing the two microheater arrays)

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Figure 7

The raw heat flux (left) and the actual boiling heat flux (right) after data reduction for a single heater (# 32, top) and area averaged of 96 heaters (bottom) during a sample earth gravity experiment

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Figure 8

Microgravity acceleration values in MSG over a 40 h period

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Figure 13

Normalized CHF versus acceleration for different fluids and microgravity levels [21-22]

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Figure 14

CHF for finite bodies (a) Lienhard and Dhir [23], (b) Ded and Lienhard [25], and (c) the current study

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Figure 4

BXF flow schematic [10]

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Figure 5

Image of the 7.0 mm microheater array

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Figure 6

The MABE feedback circuit



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