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Research Papers: Thermal Systems

Laminar Flow Forced Convection Heat Transfer Behavior of a Phase Change Material Fluid in Microchannels

[+] Author and Article Information
Satyanarayana Kondle

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843

Jorge L. Alvarado

Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution,
Texas A&M University,
3367 TAMU,
College Station, TX 77843-3367
e-mail: alvarado@entc.tamu.edu

Charles Marsh

Engineer and Research Development Center,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Champaign, IL 61822-1076

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received June 1, 2011; final manuscript received October 17, 2012; published online April 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Darrell W. Pepper.

J. Heat Transfer 135(5), 052801 (Apr 11, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-11-1285; doi: 10.1115/1.4023221 History: Received June 01, 2011; Revised October 17, 2012

In this paper, a phase change material (PCM) fluid (N-eicosane) is compared with pure water as heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer behavior of PCM fluid under laminar flow conditions (Reynolds number of 700) in circular and rectangular microchannels was studied numerically. In the numerical study, an effective specific heat model was used to take into account the phase change process. Heat transfer results for circular and rectangular microchannels with PCM fluid were obtained under hydrodynamically and thermally fully developed conditions. A PCM fluid in microchannels with aspect ratios of 1 to 2, 1 to 4, and 1 to 8 was found to enhance the thermal behavior of microchannels which can be beneficial in a host of cooling applications. The flow was assumed to be hydrodynamically fully developed at the inlet and thermally developing inside the microchannel. Heat transfer characteristics of PCM slurry flow in microchannels have been studied under three types of wall boundary conditions including constant axial heat flux with constant peripheral temperature (H1), constant heat flux with variable peripheral temperature (H2), and constant wall temperature (T) boundary condition. The fully developed Nusselt number was found to be higher for H1 than for H2 and T boundary conditions for all the geometries. Moreover, Nusselt number also increased with aspect ratio and was sensitive to the variations in effective specific heat.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Diagram showing the geometry cross section and the portion modeled in Fluent. (b) Mesh near the inlet to the microchannel.

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Fig. 2

(a) Grid independence test for 1:2 geometry under H2 boundary condition using water. (b) Grid independence test for 1:4 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 3

(a) Nusselt number variation for various aspect ratios with H1 boundary condition using water. (b) Nusselt number variation for various aspect ratios with H2 boundary condition using water.

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Fig. 4

Nusselt number variation for a circular channel under H2 boundary condition. Experimental results by Chen et al. [11].

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Fig. 5

(a) Centerline temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under H1 boundary condition. (b) Centerline temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under H1 boundary condition. (c) Centerline temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under H1 boundary condition.

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Fig. 6

(a) Centerline temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under H2 boundary condition. (b) Centerline temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under H2 boundary condition. (c) Centerline temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under H2 boundary condition.

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Fig. 7

(a) Centerline temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under T boundary condition. (b) Centerline temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under T boundary condition. (c) Centerline temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under T boundary condition.

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Fig. 8

(a) Average fluid temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Average fluid temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Average fluid temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 9

(a) Fluid temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Fluid temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Fluid temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 10

(a) Fluid temperature variation for 1:2 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Fluid temperature variation for 1:4 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Fluid temperature variation for 1:8 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 11

(a) Nusselt number variation for 1:2 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Nusselt number variation for 1:4 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Nusselt number variation for 1:8 geometry under H1 boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 12

(a) Nusselt number variation for 1:2 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Nusselt number variation for 1:4 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Nusselt number variation for 1:8 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 13

Temperature variation along the periphery of the wall for 1:4 geometry under H2 boundary condition using PCM fluid

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Fig. 14

(a) Nusselt number variation for 1:2 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid. (b) Nusselt number variation for 1:4 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid. (c) Nusselt number variation for 1:8 geometry under T boundary condition using PCM fluid.

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Fig. 15

Phase change process in a circular channel [25]

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