Flow boiling in micro- and mini-channels has attracted much attention in recent years. But the phenomena is such confined channels have not been fully understood and explained. Some conclusions reached by different authors are even contradictory. The present research is trying to study some aspects of flow boiling in mini- and micro-channels. In the present paper boiling heat transfer and two-phase flow patterns in rectangular narrow channels were studied. The gap size of the channel was varied as 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.2 mm with the channel width and length being kept at 20 mm and 100 mm, respectively. In the present mini- and micro-channels, four flow patterns were identified; bubbly, intermittent, wavy and annular flow. They can be also divided into several sub-flow patterns. Flow patterns showed strong channel gap size dependence. Smaller gap size deleted bubbly flow, thus induced simpler flow patterns to shift the annular flow at lower vapor quality. The channels can be divided into two groups depending on the gap size; the larger gap group of 2 and 1 mm, and the smaller gap group of 0.5 and 0.2 mm. The larger gap group showed similar heat transfer behavior as conventional size of tubes. The smaller gap group indicated some peculiar phenomena. Heat transfer coefficient in the smaller gap group was relatively high in the low quality region. Then heat transfer coefficient decreased monotonously with increasing vapor quality. This behavior was considered attributable to the micro-bubble generation in the channel corners and an early partial dryout of thin liquid film. Thus the relationship between heat transfer coefficient and flow pattern should be carefully pursued in micro- and mini-channels to develop heat transfer correlations based on flow patterns.

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