Thermal Response of Multi-Microchannel Evaporators During Flow Boiling of Refrigerants Under Transient Heat Loads With Flow Visualization
Multi-microchannel evaporators with flow boiling, used for cooling high heat flux devices, usually experience transient heat loads in practical applications. These transient processes may cause failure of devices due to a thermal excursion or poor local cooling or dryout. However, experimental studies on such transient thermal behavior of multi-microchannel evaporators during flow boiling are few. Thus, an extensive experimental study was conducted to investigate the base temperature response of multi-microchannel evaporators under transient heat loads, including cold startups and periodic step variations in heat flux using two different test sections and two coolants (R236fa and R245fa) for a wide variety of flow conditions. The effects on the base temperature behavior of the test section, heat flux magnitude, mass flux, inlet subcooling, outlet saturation temperature, and fluid were investigated. The transient base temperature response, monitored by an infrared (IR) camera, was recorded simultaneously with the flow regime acquired by a high-speed video camera. For cold startups, it was found that reducing the inlet orifice width, heat flux magnitude, inlet subcooling, and outlet saturation temperature but increasing the mass flux decreased the maximum base temperature. Meanwhile, the time required to initiate boiling increased with the inlet orifice width, mass flux, inlet subcooling, and outlet saturation temperature but decreased with the heat flux magnitude. For periodic variations in heat flux, the resulting base temperature was found to oscillate and then damp out along the flow direction. Furthermore, the effects of mass flux and heat flux pulsation period were insignificant.