Boiling systems are capable of dissipating high heat fluxes, and as such have potential applications in thermal management of high power microelectronics. Although there are a number of experimental investigations of flow boiling in small flow passages and several empirical correlations have been proposed, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of such systems is much less explored. In the present investigation, a phase-change model representing the heat and mass transfer is coupled with the volume of fluid (VOF) model for the transient analysis of flow boiling. The analyzed domain consists of a silicon microchannel with a finite substrate thickness, subjected to non-uniform heat fluxes at localized regions, providing with a more realistic scenario for the case of microelectronics power maps. The results show the strong effect on the two-phase flow characteristics for these configurations and visualization of the induced flow regimes is presented. Furthermore, discussion about the heat transfer mechanisms, challenges and possible solutions are given in order to provide guidelines for effective cooling of these devices.

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