Variation of Superheat With Subcooling in Nucleate Pool Boiling

[+] Author and Article Information
R. L. Judd

Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7

H. Merte

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

M. E. Ulucakli

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042

J. Heat Transfer 113(1), 201-208 (Feb 01, 1991) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910525 History: Received September 03, 1989; Revised March 02, 1990; Online May 23, 2008


An analysis is presented that explains the variation of superheat with subcooling that has been observed by a number of researchers investigating nucleate boiling heat transfer at constant heat flux. It is shown that superheat initially increases with increasing subcooling near saturated conditions because of the way in which changes in active site density and average bubble frequency with increasing subcooling affect the rate of heat removal from the heater surface by enthalpy transport and microlayer evaporation. As subcooling increases further, natural convection begins to play an increasingly important role in the heat transfer process. Ultimately, natural convection is able to accommodate the entire imposed heat flux, after which superheat decreases as subcooling increases. The success of the analysis in explaining the variation of superheat with subcooling suggests that the rate of the heat removal from the heater surface is completely determined by the mechanisms of enthalpy transport, natural convection, and microlayer evaporation.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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