In this paper a three-dimensional numerical model is developed in order to study the heat transfer enhancement in rectangular microchannels due to electrokinetic effect. The electrokinetic body force on fluid elements gives some superior convective transport properties to the flow relative to pure pressure driven flow in microchannels. Unlike the conventional parabolic velocity profile of pressure driven laminar flow, the electrokinetic body force transforms the velocity profile to a slug-like flow. Due to sharp velocity gradient near the wall, the convective heat transfer properties of the flow are improved dramatically. Net charge distribution across the channel is obtained by solving the 2D Poisson-Boltzmann equation. The incompressible laminar Navier-Stokes equations are then solved numerically by considering the presence of electrokinetic body force using the finite element method. Finally to obtain the temperature field through the channel, three-dimensional energy equation is solved for constant wall temperature condition. The analysis provides a unique fundamental insight into the complex flow and heat transfer pattern established in the channel due to combined pressure driven-electroosmotic pumping mechanism. The results are compared with the pressure driven flow in same channel. The comparison reveals significant change in flow pattern and heat transfer characteristics of single phase flow through microchannel by adding electroosmotic pumping mechanism to pressure driven flow.

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