Heat transfer to liquid flow through fractal-like branching flow networks is investigated using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics approach. Results are used to assess the validity of, and provide insight for improving, assumptions imposed in a previously developed one-dimensional model to predict wall temperature distributions along a fractal-like flow network. Assumptions in the one-dimensional model include (1) reinitiating thermal and hydrodynamic boundary layers following each bifurcation, (2) negligible minor losses at the bifurcations, and (3) constant thermo-physical fluid properties. It is concluded that temperature varying fluid properties and minor losses should be incorporated in the one-dimensional model to improve its predictive capabilities. No changes to the redevelopment of the boundary layers at each wall following a bifurcation are recommended. Surface temperature distributions along heat sinks with parallel and fractal-like branching flow networks are also investigated and compared. For the same observed maximum surface temperature between the two heat sinks, considerably lower temperature variations and pressure drops, greater than 50 percent, are noted for the fractal-like heat sink.

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