Nucleate boiling is known to be a very efficient method for generating high heat transfer rates from solid surfaces into liquids; however, the fundamental physical mechanisms governing nucleate boiling heat transfer are not well understood. This paper describes a numerical analysis of the heat transfer mechanisms around stationary and moving bubbles on a very thin microwire. The numerical analysis accurately models the experimentally observed bubble movement and fluid velocities. The analytical model was then used to study the heat transfer mechanisms around the bubbles. The analysis shows that the primary heat transfer mechanism is not the direct heat transfer to the bubble, but rather the large amount of convection around the outside of the bubble induced by the Marangoni flow that transfers at least twice as much energy from the wire than the heat transfer directly under the bubble. The enhanced heat transfer due to the Marangoni flow was evident for both stationary and moving bubbles.

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