Research Papers

Guidelines for the Determination of Single-Phase Forced Convection Coefficients in Microchannels

[+] Author and Article Information
Gian Luca Morini

e-mail: gianluca.morini3@unibo.it

Yahui Yang

e-mail: yahui.yang2@unibo.it
DIN - Alma Mater Studiorum,
Università di Bologna,
Viale Risorgimento 2,
Bologna 40136, Italy

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Heat Transfer. Manuscript received June 29, 2012; final manuscript received December 10, 2012; published online September 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Sushanta K. Mitra.

J. Heat Transfer 135(10), 101004 (Sep 11, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-12-1326; doi: 10.1115/1.4024499 History: Received June 29, 2012; Revised December 10, 2012

This paper deals with the analysis of the main features of forced microconvection of liquid and gas flows through microchannels. A critical overview of the main effects that tends to play an important role in the determination of Nusselt number in microchannels is presented. Some experimental data obtained at the Microfluidics Lab of the University of Bologna together with the main results which appeared recently in the open literature both for liquids and gases are used in order to highlight the peculiar characteristics of the convective heat transfer through microchannels and to suggest the guidelines for a physically based interpretation to the experimental results. By means of specific examples, it is shown that the thermal behavior at microscale of gas and liquid flows through microchannels in terms of convective heat transfer coefficients can be strongly affected by scaling and micro-effects but also by practical issues linked to the geometry of the test rig, the real thermal boundary conditions, the presence of fittings, position and type of the sensors, and so on. All these aspects have to be taken into account during the data post processing in order to obtain a correct evaluation of the Nusselt numbers. It is also highlighted how it is always useful to couple to the experimental approach a complete computational thermal fluid-dynamics analysis of the whole tested microsystem in order to be able to recognize “a priori” the main effects which can play an important role on the convective heat transfer analysis. It is demonstrated in this paper that this “a priori” analysis is crucial in order to: (i) individuate the main parameters which influence the convective heat transfer coefficients (this is important for the development of new correlations); (ii) compare in a right way the conventional correlations with the experimental results.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Morini, G. L., 2004, “Single-Phase Convective Heat Transfer in Microchannels: A Review of Experimental Results,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 43, pp. 631–651. [CrossRef]
Hetsroni, G., Mosyak, A., Pogrebnyak, E., and Yarin, L. P., 2005, “Heat Transfer in Micro-Channels: Comparison of Experiments With Theory and Numerical Results,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 48, pp. 5580–5601. [CrossRef]
Dey, R., Das, T., and Chakraborthy, S., 2012, “Frictional and Heat Transfer Characteristics of Single-Phase Microchannel Liquid Flows,” Heat Transfer Eng., 33, pp. 425–446. [CrossRef]
Kandlikar, S. G., 2012, “History, Advances and Challenges in Liquid Flow and Flow Boiling Heat Transfer in Microchannels: A Critical Review,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 134, p. 034001. [CrossRef]
Poiseuille, J. M., 1840, “Recherches Expérimentales sur le Mouvement des liquides dans les Tubes de très petits diamètres,” C. R. Hebd. Seances Acad. Sci., 11, pp. 961–967 and 1041–1048.
Peng, X. F., and Peterson, G. P., 1996, “Convective Heat Transfer and Flow Friction for Water Flow in Microchannel Structures,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 39, pp. 2599–2608. [CrossRef]
Wu, P., and Little, W. A., 1984, “Measurement of the Heat Transfer Characteristics of Gas Flow in Fine Channel Heat Exchangers Used for Microminiature,” Cryogenics, 24, pp. 415–420. [CrossRef]
Choi, S. B., Barron, R. F., and Warrington, R. O., 1991, “Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Microtubes,” Micromechanical Sensors, Actuators and Systems, ASME DSC 32, Atlanta, GA, pp. 123–134.
Yu, D., Warrington, R. O., Barron, R., and Ameel, T., 1995, “An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Microtubes,” Proceedings of ASME/JSME Thermal Engineering Joint Conference, Maui, HI.
Khan, M. N., Islam, M., and Hasan, M. M., 2011, “Experimental Investigation of Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Circular Microchannels,” Int. Rev. Mech. Eng., 5, pp. 1144–1150.
Demsis, A., Verma, B., Prabhu, S. V., and Agrawal, A., 2010, “Heat Transfer Coefficient of Gas Flowing in a Circular Tube Under Rarefied Condition,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 49, pp. 1994–1999. [CrossRef]
Park, H., 2009, “A Microchannel Heat Exchanger Design for Microelectronics Cooling Correlating the Heat Transfer Rate in Terms of Brinkman Number,” Microsyst. Technol., 15, pp. 1373–1378. [CrossRef]
Mun, J. H., and Kim, S. C., 2011, “Study on Heat Transfer Characteristics for Single-Phase Flow in Rectangular Microchannels,”Trans Korean Soc. Mech. Eng. B, 35, pp. 891–896. [CrossRef]
Herwig, H., and Hausner, O., 2003, “Critical View on “New Results in Micro-Fluid Mechanics”: An Example, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 46, pp. 935–937. [CrossRef]
Morini, G. L., 2006, “Scaling Effects for Liquid Flows in Microchannels,” Heat Transfer Eng., 27, pp. 64–73. [CrossRef]
Rosa, P., Karayiannis, T. G., and Collins, M. W., 2009, “Single-Phase Heat Transfer in Microchannels: The Importance of Scaling Effects,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 29, pp. 3447–3468. [CrossRef]
Guo, Z. Y., and Li, Z. X., 2003, “Size Effect on Microscale Single-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 46, pp. 149–159. [CrossRef]
Li, C., Jia, L., and Zhang, T., 2009, “The Entrance Effect on Gases Flow Characteristics in Micro-Tube,” J. Therm. Sci., 18, pp. 353–357. [CrossRef]
Morini, G. L., Lorenzini, M., Colin, S., and Geoffroy, S., 2007, “Experimental Analysis of Pressure Drop and Laminar to Turbulent Transition for Gas Flows in Microtubes,” Heat Transfer Eng., 28, pp. 670–679. [CrossRef]
Morini, G. L., and Spiga, M., 2007, “The Role of Viscous Dissipation in Heated Microchannels,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 129, pp. 308–318. [CrossRef]
Mohorana, M. K., Agarwal, G., and Khandekar, S., 2011, “Axial Conduction in Single-Phase Simultaneously Developing Flow in a Rectangular Mini-Channel Array,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 50, pp. 1001–1012. [CrossRef]
Lin, T.-Y., and Kandlikar, S. G., 2012, “A Theoretical Model for Axial Heat Conduction Effects During Single-Phase Flow in Microchannels,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 134, p. 020902. [CrossRef]
Maranzana, G., Perry, I., and Maillet, D., 2004, “Mini- and Micro-Channels Influence of Axial Conduction in the Walls,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 47, pp. 3993–4004. [CrossRef]
Shah, R. K., and London, A. L., 1978, Laminar Flow Forced Convection in Ducts (Advances in Heat Transfer), Academic Press, New York.
Gamrat, G., Favre-Marinet, M., and Le Person, S., 2009, “Modelling of Roughness Effects on Heat Transfer in Thermally Fully-Developed Laminar Flows Through Microchannels,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 48, pp. 2203–2214. [CrossRef]
Croce, G., D'Agaro, P., and Nonino, C., 2007, “Three-Dimensional Roughness Effect on Microchannel Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 50, pp. 5249–5259. [CrossRef]
Lin, T.-Y., and Kandlikar, S. G., 2012, “An Experimental Investigation of Structured Roughness Effect on Heat Transfer During Single-Phase Liquid Flow at Microscale,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 134, p. 101701. [CrossRef]
Colin, S., 2012, “Gas Microflows in the Slip Flow Regime: A Review on Heat Transfer,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 134(2), p. 020908. [CrossRef]
Ren, C. L., Qu, W., and Li, D., 2001, “Interfacial Electrokinetic Effects on Liquid Flow in Microchannels,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 44, pp. 3125–3134. [CrossRef]
Maynes, D., and Webb, B. W., 2003, “Fully Developed Electro-Osmotic Heat Transfer in Microchannels,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 46, pp. 1359–1369. [CrossRef]
Herwig, H., and Mahulikar, S. P., 2006, “Variable Property Effects in Single-Phase Incompressible Flows Through Microchannels,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 45, pp. 977–981. [CrossRef]
Gulhane, N. P., and Mahulikar, S. P., 2010, “Numerical Study of Compressible Convective Heat Transfer With Variations in all Fluid Properties,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 49, pp. 786–796. [CrossRef]
Gnielinski, V., 1995, „Ein Neues Berechnungsverfahren fur die Warmeubertragung im Ubergangsbereich zwischen Laminaren und Turbulenter Rohstromung,” Forsch. Ingenieurwes. Eng. Res., 61, pp. 240–248. [CrossRef]
Dittus, F. W., and Boelter, L. M. K., 1930, “Heat Transfer in Automobile Radiators of the Tubular type,” Vol. 2, University of California Publications on Engineering, Berkeley, CA, p. 433.
Sieder, E. N., and Tate, G. E., 1936, “Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop of Liquids in Tubes,” Ind. Eng. Chem., 28, pp. 1429–1439. [CrossRef]
Morini, G. L., Lorenzini, M., Salvigni, S., and Celata, G. P., 2010, “Experimental Analysis of the Microconvective Heat Transfer in the Laminar and Transition Regions,” Exp. Heat Transfer, 23, pp. 73–93. [CrossRef]
Morini, G. L., Yang, Y., and Lorenzini, M., 2012, “Experimental Analysis of Gas Micro-Convection Through Commercial Microtubes,” Exp. Heat Transfer, 25, pp. 151–171. [CrossRef]
Mori, S., Sakakibara, M., and Tanimoto, A., 1974, “Steady Heat Transfer to Laminar Flow in a Circular Tube With Conduction in the Tube Wall,” Heat Transfer-Jpn. Res., 3, pp. 37–46.
Tso, C. P., and Mahulikar, S. P., 2000, “Experimental Verification of the Role of Brinkman Number in Microchannels Using Local Parameters,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 43, pp. 1837–1849. [CrossRef]
Hong, C., Yamamoto, T., Asako, Y., and Suzuki, K., 2012, “Heat Transfer Characteristics of Compressible Laminar Flow Through Microtubes,” ASME J. of Heat Transfer, 134, p. 011602. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Average Nusselt numbers as a function of the Reynolds number for water flow (#1 d = 440 μm; #2: d = 280 μm; #3: d = 146 μm) from Ref. [36] and comparison with the Gnielinski [33] and Sieder and Tate [35] correlations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Average Nusselt numbers as a function of the Reynolds number and comparison with Gnielinski [33], Sieder and Tate [35], and Choi et al. [8] correlations for nitrogen flow (#4: d = 172 μm; #5: d =750 μm) from Ref. [37]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Axial distribution of the wall and bulk temperature for microtube #4 at Re = 400 for: (a) nitrogen and (b) water

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

A sketch of the outlet section of the test rig used in Ref. [37] where the temperature sensor for the measurement of the gas outlet temperature is placed

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

(a) Axial temperature distribution along the outlet plenum centerline; (b) 2D temperature distribution within the outlet plenum at Re = 1400 (c) 2D temperature distribution within the outlet plenum at Re = 600 (only half of the outlet plenum displayed)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Average Nusselt numbers obtained by integrating experimental and numerical data and comparison with Gnielinski [33], Sieder and Tate [35], and Choi et al. [8] correlations for nitrogen flow



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In