The electrohydrodynamic (EHD) pumping created by an axially traveling electric wave superimposed on a dielectric fluid with a transverse temperature field has been investigated using a finite element technique. Both forward wave (cooled wall) and backward wave (heated wall) modes of operation have been considered. The secondary flow generated by buoyancy effects in the cross section were included in the calculations. The driving effects of the traveling wave were calculated by assuming that only the average electric shear stress produced movement while the sinusoidally varying transient effects cancelled out. The results show that effective pumping can be achieved without the use of a grounding electrode along the axis of the tube but the design parameters have to be carefully selected. Increasing the diameter-to-wavelength ratios increases the velocities. The flow rate is maximum at an optimum frequency, about 0.8 Hz in our typical cases, but it drops off rather quickly as the frequency is either decreased or increased. The velocities were much less sensitive to heating/cooling rates (i.e., Rayleigh numbers) or changes in the magnitude of the electrical conductivity values. Although the pumping effect increases approximately as the square of the maximum applied electric potential, in practice, the electric gradients are limited by the dielectric strength of the fluid. The results indicate the EHD heat exchanger/pumps can be feasible alternatives to mechanical pumps in certain circumstances when dielectric liquids require both heat tranfer and circulation.

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