Flow boiling in microgap heat sink is very attractive for high-performance electronics cooling due to its high heat transfer rate and easy fabrication process. In absence of thermal interface material between the active electronic component and a microgap cold plate, significant reduction in interface thermal resistance and enhancement in heat transfer rate can be achieved. In earlier studies by these authors, encouraging results have been obtained using microgap heat sink as it can potentially mitigate flow instabilities, flow reversal and maintain uniform wall temperatures over the heated surface. So, more work should be carried out to advance the fundamental understanding of the two-phase flow heat transfer associated with microgap heat sink and the underlying mechanisms. In this study, local flow boiling phenomena in different microgap sizes have been investigated experimentally. Experiments are performed in silicon based microgap heat sink having microgap depth ranging from 80 μm to 500 μm, using deionized water with 10 °C subcooled inlet temperature. The effects of mass flux and heat flux on heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop characteristics are examined by using different mass fluxes ranging from 400 kg/m2s to 1000 kg/m2s and effective heat flux varying from 0 to 100 W/cm2. Apart from these experimental investigations, simultaneous high speed visualizations are conducted to observe and explore the mechanism of flow boiling in microgap. Confined slug and annular boiling are observed as the two main heat transfer mechanisms in microgap. Moreover, experimental results show that flow boiling heat transfer coefficients are dependent on gap size, and the lower the gap size, higher the heat transfer coefficient.

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