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Boiling-condensation heat transfer and flow characteristics in ultrathin limited enclosed space based on numerical simulation and visualization experiment

Boiling-condensation heat transfer in ultrathin flat heat pipes are complicated and difficult to observe. In this study, a visualization experiment and simulation analysis in an ultrathin limited enclosed space were carried out. Width of the ultrathin enclosed space was 1 mm, with anhydrous ethanol as the working medium. The enclosed space was oriented vertically with the heating section on the bottom and the cooling section on the top. Flow characteristics of the anhydrous ethanol were photographed using a high-speed camera through the quartz cover. The boiling-condensation heat transfer and fluid flow in the limited enclosed space were simulated. Effective heat transfer coefficient calculated based on the experimental data varied from 1.0 to 1.1 W/°C, while that of the inner wall obtained by the simulation varied within the range of 1.068-1.076 W/°C. The maximum error was 2.9%, which verified the reliability of the simulation results. By analyzing the pressure change in condensation section, it was found that the boiling-condensation heat released in the enclosed space changed periodically, because of the growth and bursting of bubbles and falling of the working medium due to gravity. Restricted by the thickness, the bubbles produced by boiling of the working medium grew in flat and irregular shapes, promoting the upward movement of the rest of the liquid working medium, and a liquid film was formed at the heated inner surface for evaporation heat transfer, which enhanced the heat transfer capacity of the heating section.
PAPER REVISED: 2021-10-27
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2021-10-29
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