Spray cooling is a high flux heat removal technique considered for systems dissipating high power within small areas such as advanced lasers. Recently Selvam and Ponnappan (2004 & 2005) identified the importance of modeling heat transfer in a thin liquid film on a hot surface at the micro level and illustrated how this micro level modeling could help to improve the macro level spray cooling. The goal of this research is to advance the theoretical understanding of spray cooling to enable efficient system level hardware designs. Two-phase flow modeling is done using the level set method to identify the interface of vapor and liquid. The modifications made to the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations to consider surface tension and phase change are presented. The equations are solved using the finite difference method. The effect of liquid droplet impact on a 40 μm thick liquid film containing vapor bubble and the consequent heat removal is explained with a sequence of temperature vs. time contours. From that, the importance of fast transient conduction in the liquid film leading to high heat flux in a short time is illustrated. The optimum positioning of the droplet with respect to the vapor bubble for effective heat removal is also systematically investigated. This information is expected to help in proper positioning of the droplet in three-dimensional modeling.

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