Study of electrostatic-induced jumping droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces

B. Traipattanakul, C. Y. Tso, Christopher Y.H. Chao

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Condensation of water vapor is an important process utilized in energy/thermal/fluid systems. When droplets coalesce on the non-wetting surface, excess surface energy converts to kinetic energy leading to self-propelled jumping of merged droplets. This coalescing-jumping-droplet condensation can better enhance heat transfer compared to classical dropwise condensation and filmwise condensation. However, the resistance force can cause droplets to return to the surface. These returning droplets can either coalesce with neighboring droplets and jump again, or adhere to the surface. As time passes, these adhering droplets can become larger leading to progressive flooding on the surface, limiting heat transfer performance. However, an electric field is known to be one of the effective methods to prevent droplet return and to address the progressive flooding issue. Therefore, in this study, an experiment is set up to investigate the effects of applied electrical voltages between two parallel copper plates on the jumping height with respect to the droplet radius and to determine the average charge of coalescing-jumping-droplets. Moreover, the gravitational force, the drag force, the inertia force and the electrostatic force as a function of the droplet radius are also discussed. The gap width of 7.5 mm and the electrical voltages of 50 V, 100 V and 150 V are experimentally investigated. Droplet motions are captured with a high-speed camera and analyzed in sequential frames. The results of the study show that the applied electrical voltage between the two plates can reduce the resistance force due to the droplet's inertia and can increase the effects of the electrostatic force. This results in greater jumping heights and the jumping phenomenon of some bigger-sized droplets. With the same droplet radius, the greater the applied electrical voltage, the higher the coalescing droplet can jump. This work can be utilized in several applications such as self-cleaning, thermal diodes, anti-icing and condensation heat transfer enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers(ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858431
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2017 - Tampa, United States
Duration: 3 Nov 20179 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


ConferenceASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Study of electrostatic-induced jumping droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this