Flow boiling within conventional, mini and micro-scale channels is encountered in a wide range of engineering applications such as nuclear reactors, steam engines and cooling of electronic devices. Due to the high complexity and importance of the boiling process, several numerical and experimental investigations have been conducted for the better understanding of the underpinned physics and heat transfer characteristics. One of the most widely used numerical approaches that can analyse such phenomena is the Eulerian–Eulerian two-fluid method in conjunction with the RPI model. However, according to the current state-of-the-art methods this modelling approach heavily relies on empirical closure relationships derived for conventional channels, limiting its applicability to mini- and micro-scale channels. The present paper aims to give further insights into the applicability of this modelling approach for non-conventional channels. For this purpose, a numerical investigation utilising the Eulerian–Eulerian two-fluid model and the RPI wall heat flux partitioning model in OpenFOAM 8.0 is conducted. Initially the parameters comprising the empirical closure relationships used in the RPI sub-models are tuned against the DEBORA experiments on conventional channels, through an extensive sensitivity analysis. In the second part of the investigation, numerical simulations against flow boiling experiments within micro-channels are performed, utilising the previously optimised and validated model setup. Furthermore the importance of including a bubble coalescence and break-up sub-model to capture parameters such as the radial velocity profiles, is also illustrated. However, when the optimal model setup, in conventional tubes, is used against micro-channel experiments, the need to develop new correlations from data obtained from mini and micro-scale channel studies, not from experimental data on conventional channels, is revealed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was partially funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No 801604) and the European Space Agency project ENCOM 4). Georgoulas would like to specifically thank the University of Brighton for their financial support through the Rising Stars programme. Additionally, Vontas would like to thank the Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) of the University of Brighton for their financial support through the Maintaining Continuity research grant scheme.
© 2023 by the authors.
- sub-cooled flow boiling
- Eulerian–Eulerian two-fluid
- closure models
- RPI wall boiling