Microscale heat transfer in macro geometry has been proven to yield comparable heat transfer performance to that of typical microchannels. This paper takes it a step further by looking at three passive heat transfer enhancement techniques to improve the heat transfer performance of the newly proposed system for single-phase liquid flow. The novelty of the study lies in that the enhancement features are designed based on inspiration from nature. Fish scale, Durian (a thorny tropical fruit), and Inverted Fish Scale enhancement profiles are considered. In this study, an annular microchannel is formed by securing a cylindrical insert of mean diameter 19.4 mm within a cylindrical pipe of internal diameter 20 mm. The enhancement features are introduced on the surface profile of the insert, while the heat is supplied to the flow via the cylindrical pipe of fixed surface area. Therefore, heat transfer is improved by increasing convective heat transfer coefficient, for a constant heat transfer area. The enhancement features serve to increase heat transfer coefficient by disturbing the flow and thermal boundary layers. Experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of the three enhancement profiles on the heat transfer and flow characteristics of the microscale flow. The extent of enhancement is computed with the Plain profile as benchmark. The constant parameters include microchannel length of 30 mm, mean hydraulic diameter of 600 μm, and heat input of 1000 W. Reynolds number range is 1,300 to 4,600, with water as working fluid. Results show that the Inverted Fish Scale profile doubles the Nusselt number as compared to the Plain profile. However, when friction factor increment is considered, Durian profile yields the best overall thermal performance, nearly 1.4 times better than the Plain profile. In the whole study, the maximum convective heat transfer coefficient achieved is 45.0 kW/m2·K, using Inverted Fish Scale profile at Reynolds number of 4,300. The pressure drop values of the system are all less than 3 bars, which may easily be achieved by a commercially available pump.

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