A quenching/diffusion analytical model has been developed for predicting the wall temperature and wall heat flux behind bubbles sliding in a confined narrow channel. The model is based on the concept of a well-mixed liquid region that enhances the heat transfer near the heated wall behind the bubble. Heat transfer in the liquid is treated as a one-dimensional transient conduction process until the flow field recovers back to its undisturbed level prior to bubble passage.

The model is compared to experimental heat transfer results obtained in a high-aspect-ratio (1.2×23mm) rectangular, horizontal channel with one wide wall forming a uniform-heat-generation boundary and the other designed for optical access to the flow field. The working fluid was Novec™ 649. A thermochromic liquid crystal coating was applied to the outside of the uniform-heat-generation boundary, so that wall temperature variations could be obtained and heat transfer coefficients and Nusselt numbers could be obtained. The experiments were focused on high inlet subcooling, typically 15–50°C.

The model is able to capture the elevated heat transfer rates measured in the channel without the need to consider nucleate boiling from the surface or microlayer evaporation from the sliding bubbles. Surface temperatures and wall heat fluxes were estimated for 17 different experimental conditions using the proposed model. Results agreed with the measured values within ±15% accuracy. The insight gathered from comparing the results of the proposed model to experimental results provides the basis for a better understanding of the physics of subcooled bubbly flow in narrow channels.

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