Study of the Physics of Droplet Impingement Cooling
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Spray cooling is one of the most promising technologies in applications which require large heat removal capacity in very small areas. Previous experimental studies have suggested that one of the main mechanisms of heat removal in spray cooling is forced convection with strong mixing due to droplet impingement. These mechanisms have not been completely understood mainly due to the large number of physical variables, and the inability to modulate and control variables such as droplet frequency and droplet size. Our approach consists of minimizing the number of experimental variables by controlling variables such as droplet direction, velocity and diameter. A study of heat transfer for single and multiple droplet impingements using HFE- 7100 as the cooling fluid under constant heat flux conditions is presented. Monosized single and multiple droplet trains were produced using a piezoelectric droplet generator with the ability to adjust droplet frequency, diameter, velocity, and spacing between adjacent droplets. In this study, heaters consisting of a layer of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) as heating element, and ZnSe substrates were used. Surface temperature at the liquid-solid interface was measured using Infrared Thermography. Heat transfer behavior was characterized and critical heat flux was measured. Film thickness was measured using a non-invasive optical technique inside the crown formation produced by the impinging droplets. Hydrodynamic phenomena at the droplet impact zone was studied using high speed imaging. Impact regimes of the impinging droplets were identified, and their effect on heat transfer performance were discussed. The results and effects of droplet frequency, droplet diameter, droplet velocity, and fluid flow rate on heat flux behavior, critical heat flux, and film morphology were elucidated. The study showed that forced heat convection is the main heat transfer mechanism inside the crown formation formed by droplet impingement and impact regimes play an important role on heat transfer behavior. In addition, this study found that spacing among adjacent droplets is the most important factor for multiple droplet stream heat transfer behavior. The knowledge generated through the study provides tools and know-how necessary for the design and development of enhanced spray cooling systems.
Soriano, Guillermo Enrique (2011). Study of the Physics of Droplet Impingement Cooling. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from