An experimental study of the fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics in micro-condensers with slug-bubbly flow

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments were conducted to study the condensation flow pattern in silicon micro-condensers using water as the medium. Slug-bubbly flow was found to be one of the dominant flows in the micro-condenser and it was a major factor in determining the heat transfer and pressure drop properties of the fluid inside the micro-condenser. The transition from the slug-bubbly flow to a mixed flow pattern was studied. A correlation was obtained to predict when the transition of the flow pattern would occur. Only slug-bubbly flow existed under low steam mass flow rate and high heat transfer rate conditions. As the steam mass flow rate increased or the heat transfer rate dropped, the mixed flow pattern would then appear. In the slug-bubbly flow regime, the heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop in the micro-condensers were investigated in detail. It was found that micro-condensers with smaller channels could exhibit higher heat transfer coefficients with the same Reynolds number. The condensation heat transfer coefficient was higher than that in the tubes with the diameter of centimeter. Pressure drops in the micro-condensers with smaller channels were higher due to the increased transition loss. At the same time, the pressure drop in the micro-condenser was found to be lower than what could be predicted using the macro-scale correlation. Increasing the heat flux would create a longer bubble-film region and fewer unit cells in the micro-condenser resulting in an increased heat transfer coefficient and a decreased pressure drop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1318
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Component
  • Condenser
  • Cooling
  • Electronic
  • Experiment
  • Flow
  • Heat transfer
  • Microchannel
  • Pressure drop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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