In this work a mechanistic model for nucleate boiling heat flux as a function of wall superheat has been developed. The premise of the proposed model is that the entire energy from the wall is first transferred to the superheated liquid layer adjacent to the wall. A fraction of this energy is then utilized for vapor generation. Contribution of each of the heat transfer mechanisms — forced convection, transient conduction, and vapor generation, has been quantified in terms of nucleation site densities, bubble departure and lift off diameters, bubble release frequency, flow parameters like velocity, inlet subcooling, wall superheat, and fluid and surface properties including system pressures. To support the model development, subcooled flow boiling experiments were conducted at pressures of 1.03 to 3.2 bar for a wide range of mass fluxes (124 to 926 kg/m2s), heat fluxes (2.5 to 90 W/cm2) and for contact angles varying from 30° to 90°. Model validation has been carried out with low-pressure data obtained from present work and the wall heat flux predictions are within ± 30% of experimental values. Application of the model to high-pressure data available in literature also showed good agreement, signifying that the model can be extended to all pressures.

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