Efficiency of synthetic jet impingement cooling and the mechanisms of heat removal from a constant heat flux surface were investigated experimentally. The effects of jet’s formation frequency and Reynolds number at different nozzle-to-surface distances were investigated and compared to steady jet cooling. It was found that synthetic jets are up to three times more effective than steady jets at the same Reynolds number. For smaller distances, high formation frequency (f = 1200 Hz) synthetic jets remove heat better than low frequency (f = 420 Hz) jets, whereas low frequency jets are more effective at larger distances, with an overlapping region. Using PIV, it was shown that at small distances between the synthetic jet and the heated surface, the higher formation frequency jet is associated with accumulation of vortices before they impinge on the surface. For the lower frequency jet, the wavelength between coherent structures is so large that vortex rings impinge on the surface separately.

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