Phase change driven heat transfer has been the topic of interest for a significantly long time. However, in recent years on demand sweating boosted evaporation which requires substantially less amount of the liquid medium has drawn attention as a possible way of increasing/supplementing heat transfer under convective conditions where the convective heat transfer coefficient has already reached its maximum value as well as where dry cooling is a desired objective. In this study, a numerical study is conducted to obtain insight into the ‘hybrid’ system where evaporation and convection both contribute to the heat transfer effect. The system modeled consists of evaporation of thin liquid (water) film under a laminar flow condition. The mathematical model employed consists of coupled conservation equations of mass, species, momentum and energy for the convection-evaporation domain (gaseous), with only mass and energy conservation being resolved in the liquid film domain. The evaporative mass flux is obtained from a modified Hertz-Knudsen relation which is a function of liquid-vapor interface temperature and pressure. A two-dimensional rectangular domain with a pre-prescribed thin liquid water film representative of an experiment is simulated with the developed model. The thin rectangular liquid film is heated by uniform heat flux and is placed in the convection-evaporation domain with an unheated starting length. A moving boundary mesh is applied via the“Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian” technique to resolve the receding liquid interface resulting from evaporation. The prescribed relative displacement of the moving interface is calculated from the net mass flux due to evaporation and is governed by the principle of mass conservation. Simulations were conducted over a range of Reynolds number, heat flux conditions and liquid film thickness. The numerical predictions indicate that under convective-evaporative conditions the overall heat transfer coefficient increases significantly (∼factor of a five) in comparison to the purely forced convection scenario. An increase in the heat transfer coefficient is observed with Reynolds number and vice versa for film thickness. A critical Reynolds number is identified beyond which the heat transfer coefficient does not continue to increase significantly rather tends to plateau out.

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