In this study, three-dimensional numerical simulations are performed to investigate heat transfer enhancement in multi-harmonic micro-scale wavy channels. The focus is on the influence of channel surface-topography, modeled as multi-harmonic sinusoidal waves of square cross-sectional area, on the enhancing mechanisms. A single-wave device of 0.5 mm × 0.5 mm × 20 mm length, is used as baseline, and new designs are built with harmonic-type surfaces. The channel is enclosed by a solid block, with the bottom surface within the sinusoidal region being exposed to a 47 W/cm2 heat flux. The numerical solutions of the governing equations for an incompressible laminar flow and conjugate heat transfer are obtained via finite elements. By using the ratio of the Nusselt number for wavy to straight channels, a parametric analysis — for a set of cold-water flowrates (Re = 50, 100, and 150) — shows that the addition of harmonic surfaces enhances the transfer of energy and that such ratio achieves the highest value with wave harmonic numbers of n = ±2. Use of a performance factor (PF), defined as the ratio of the Nusselt number to the pressure drop, shows that, surprisingly, the proposed wavy multi-harmonic channels are not as efficient as the single-wave geometries. This outcome is thought to be, primarily, due to the uncertainty associated with the definition of the Nusselt number used in this study, and establishes a direction to investigate the development of a more accurate definition.

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