A comparison of flow boiling heat-transfer in in-line mini pin fin and plane channel flows

D. A. McNeil, A. H. Raeisi, P. A. Kew, P. R. Bobbili

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53 Citations (Scopus)


The use of a boiling fluid as a coolant is an attractive option for electronic devices as electrical power densities increase. However, for systems working at the micro-scale, design methods developed for evaluating heat transfer in macro-scale evaporators are not appropriate for passages with hydraulic diameter of the order of 1 mm and below. Heat-transfer coefficients and pressure drops are reported for two surfaces, a pin-fin and a plate surface, each with 50 mm square base area. The pin-fin surface comprised of 1 mm square pin fins that were 1 mm high and located on a 2 mm square pitch array covering the base. The channel was 1 mm high and had a glass top plate. The data were produced while boiling R113 at atmospheric pressure. For both surfaces, the mass flux range was 50-250 kg/m2s and the heat flux range was 5-140 kW/m2. The results obtained have been compared with standard correlations for tube bundles. The measured heat-transfer coefficients for the pin-fin surface are slightly higher than those for the plate surface. Both are dependent on heat flux and reasonably independent of mass flux and vapour quality. Thus, heat transfer is probably dominated by nucleate boiling and is increased by the pin fins due to the increase in area and heat-transfer coefficient. The pin-fin pressure drops were typically 7 times larger than the plate values. The pin-fin heat-transfer coefficients and pressure drops are compared to macro-scale tube bundle correlations. At low vapour qualities the heat-transfer coefficients are in reasonable agreement with the correlations, but, as the vapour quality increases, they do not show the convective enhancement which would be expected for a conventionally-sized tube bundle. Measured two-phase pressure drops are in reasonable agreement with the tube bundle correlation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2412-2425
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Boiling
  • Mini-scale
  • Pin-fins
  • Pressure drop


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