Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) coated glass was used to provide transparent heated surfaces with heat fluxes high enough to generate nucleate boiling in water. The technique enables extended horizontal surfaces exhibiting nucleate boiling to be analysed with novel optical diagnostic methods. A horizontal glass substrate coated with an ITO layer on its top surface was immersed in demineralised water of temperatures between 70 and 80°C. A direct electrical current was passed through the ITO to heat the water. A high-speed imaging system comprising an infrared laser and CCD camera was used to analyse the resulting nucleate pool boiling from the ITO surface. This system was operated at up to 1 kHz frame rate and the bubbles analysed in terms of size and shape. Statistical data regarding bubble size and nucleation site density were obtained for heat fluxes ranging from 63 to 105 kW.m−2. Nucleation site densities were found to be up to 35 000 sites.m−2. Furthermore, non-intrusive cross-sectional void fraction measurements were made, and ranged from zero to 14% of surface area. The increase in both site density and void fraction with increasing heat flux was found to be in good agreement with published literature.

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