An experimental study was performed to qualitatively investigate the effect of an applied electric field on two-phase flow patterns in convective flow boiling of R-134a inside a channel. The experiments were performed in a horizontal channel with 3 mm hydraulic diameter. Inlet vapor qualities of 5%, 40%, and 80% at a flow Reynolds number of 1000 and heat flux of 20 kW/m2 are reported here. The flow regimes were analyzed by a high-speed digital camera. The camera could provide a frames speed of up to 3025 frames/s. The electric field was maintained between the upper and lower walls of the channel. The current visualization study suggests some definitive characteristics of the flow regime and the mechanism behind the EHD-enhanced convective boiling in a narrowly-spaced channel. It is found that at the lower range of applied potential, the flow patterns change from stratified wavy flow to a plug flow type with large slugs spanning the height of the channel. At the higher range of applied potential, a new flow regime took place. This flow pattern was associated with the cross motion of the liquid inside the channel. One reason for heat transfer enhancement can be attributed to the strong heat/momentum transfer between the vapor slugs and liquid cross motions.

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