Convective heat transfer enhancement on a wall of a narrow channel enhanced by high-frequency, translational oscillation of a thin agitator plate is described. The oscillation is realized using a piezoelectric stack actuator. Small amplitudes of the piezoelectric stack actuator were amplified through oval loop shell structures so that large translational amplitudes are provided to the thin plate agitator. Heat transfer tests were conducted with three operating frequencies resulting from three oval loop shell structures operating at their resonance frequencies. For each operating frequency, four different amplitudes (corresponding to different applied voltages to the piezoelectric stacks) were investigated. Three channel flow rates were tested. They represent laminar, transition, and turbulent flow regimes for a non-agitated channel. Running with agitation and channel flow allows a study of the agitation effect with different channel flow rates. The results show that the oscillating plate with a frequency of about 1,140 Hz raises the convective heat transfer coefficient on the heated surface by 93%, compared to a case with channel flow only. The flow rate was 45 LPM, corresponding to the transitional flow regime in an un-agitated channel. The amplitude of oscillation was about 1.1 mm, peak-to-peak. It was found that the effect of cross flow is minimized with high oscillation frequency agitation regardless of channel flow velocity and flow regime of the un-agitated flow. In addition, numerical simulations were performed to support the experimental results and understand underlying phenomena of translational agitation. Numerical simulation results match well with the experiments and provided good explanations of heat transfer enhancement from the translational agitator. The piezoelectrically-driven oscillating agitator plate coupled with traditional fan cooling shows promising potential for advanced air cooling applications.

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