In the present study, incipient flow boiling of water is studied experimentally in a square-cross-section vertical channel. Water, preheated to 60–80 degrees Celsius, flows upwards. The channel has an electrically heated wall, where the heat fluxes can be as high as above one megawatt per square meter. The experiment is repeated for different water flow rates, and the maximum Reynolds number reached in the present study is 27,300. Boiling is observed and recorded using a high-speed digital video camera. The temperature field on the heated surface is measured with an infrared camera and a software is used to obtain quantitative temperature data. Thus, the recorded boiling images are analyzed in conjunction with the detailed temperature field. The dependence of incipient boiling on the flow and heat transfer parameters is established. For a flat wall, the results for various velocities and subcooling conditions agree well with the existing literature. Furthermore, three different wavy heated surfaces are explored, having the same pitch of 4mm but different amplitudes of 0.25mm, 0.5mm and 0.75mm. The effect of surface waviness on single-phase heat transfer and boiling incipience is shown. The differences in boiling incipience on various surfaces are elucidated, and the effect of wave amplitude on the results is discussed.

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