The numerical simulation and experimental validations of the growth and departure of a single bubble on a horizontal heated surface during pool boiling under reduced gravity conditions have been performed here. A finite difference scheme is used to solve the equations governing mass, momentum and energy in the vapor liquid phases. The vapor-liquid interface is captured by level set method, which is modified to include the influence of phase change at the liquid-vapor interface. The effects of reduced gravity conditions, wall superheat and liquid subcooling and system pressure on the bubble diameter and growth period have been studied. The simulations are also carried out under both constant and time-varying gravity conditions to benchmark the solution with the actual experimental conditions that existed during the parabolic flights of KC-135 aircraft. In the experiments, a single vapor bubble was produced on an artificial cavity, 10 μm in diameter microfabricated on the polished silicon wafer, the wafer was heated electrically from the back with miniature strain gage type heating elements in order to control the nucleation superheat. The bubble growth period and the bubble diameter predicted from the numerical simulations have been found to compare well with the data from experiments.

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