An ionic wind is formed when air ions generated by a corona discharge are accelerated by an electric field and exchange momentum with neutral air molecules, causing air flow. Because ionic winds can generate flow with no moving parts, they offer an attractive method for enhancing the heat transfer from a surface that would otherwise only be cooled by natural convection and/or radiation. In the presence of an external, flat plate flow, ionic winds distort the boundary layer such that local heat transfer is enhanced at the wall, and recent work has suggested that integrating such devices can be useful for cooling electronic components locally. In this work, corona discharges are generated between a steel wire and copper tape electrode pair on a flat plate, perpendicular to the bulk flow direction such that the discharge is in the direction of the bulk flow. The corona discharge current is characterized, and a corona glow and spark discharge are visualized. Experimental studies of the heat transfer from a heated flat plate are conducted using an infrared camera which indicated both upstream and downstream cooling along the entire length of the wire. Heat transfer coefficients are increased by more than 200% above those obtained from bulk flow alone and are correlated to the fourth root of the corona current. Preliminary parametric studies demonstrate the influence of the electrode-pair configuration on the cooling enhancement and suggest improved geometric designs.

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