Droplet and bubble dynamics and nucleate heat transfer in saturated FC-72 spray cooling were studied using a simulation model. Using the experimentally observed bubble growth rate, submodels were assumed based on physical reasoning for the number of secondary nuclei entrained by the impinging droplets, bubble puncturing by the impinging droplets, bubble merging and the spatial distribution of secondary nuclei. The predicted nucleate heat transfer was in agreement with experimental findings. Dynamic aspects of the droplets and bubbles, which had been difficult to observe experimentally, and their ability in enhancing nucleate heat transfer were then discussed based on the results of the simulation. These aspects include bubble merging, bubble puncturing by impinging droplets, secondary nucleation, bubble size distribution and bubble diameter at puncture. Simply increasing the number of secondary nuclei is not as effective in enhancing nucleate heat transfer as when it is also combined with increased bubble puncturing frequency by the impinging droplets. For heat transfer enhancement, it is desirable to have as many small bubbles and as high a bubble density as possible.

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