Thin liquid films flowing along solid walls are widely used in technological applications in which high rates of heat and mass transport are required. The transport processes can be further intensified by using structured walls. In the present work hydrodynamics and heat transfer in falling liquid films on heated vertical and inclined walls with mini-grooves are studied experimentally and theoretically/numerically. The experiments are performed with straight, meandering and zigzag mini-grooves. The film dynamics is investigated using a confocal chromatic sensoring (CHR) technique. The flow patterns and the temperature of the liquid-gas interface are visualized using the high-speed infrared thermography. The wall temperature distribution is measured with thermocouples. A numerical model for description of the velocity and temperature fields in the thermal entrance region of the falling films on smooth and structured walls is developed. This model is based on the solution of the Graetz-Nusselt problem for falling films on grooved plates. We show that the mini-grooves significantly affect the flow patterns, film stability and heat transfer in falling liquid films. Using grooved walls leads to the increase of the maximal attainable heat transfer rate.

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