The increasing demand for designing effective cooling solutions in high power density electronic components has resulted in exploring advanced thermal management strategies. Over the past decade, phase-change cooling has received widespread recognition due to its ability to dissipate large heat fluxes while maintaining low temperature differences. In this paper, a radial flow boiling configuration through a central inlet was studied. This configuration is particularly suited for chip cooling application. Two heat transfer surfaces with (a) radial microchannels, and (b) offset strip fins were fabricated and their flow boiling performance with distilled water was obtained. Furthermore, the effect of the liquid flow rate on the boiling performance and enhancement mechanisms was also investigated in this study. At a flow rate of 240 mL/min, a maximum heat flux of 369 W/cm2 at a wall superheat of 49 °C and a pressure drop of 59 kPa was achieved with the radial microchannels, while the offset strip fins achieved a maximum heat flux of 618 W/cm2 at a wall superheat of 20 °C. Increasing the flow rate to 320 mL/min resulted in a heat flux of 897 W/cm2 demonstrating the potential of using a radial configuration for enhancing the boiling performance. The increase in flow cross-sectional area was shown to be responsible for the reduced pressure drop when compared to straight microchannel configurations. The high-speed imaging incorporated in each test provided valuable insight and understanding into the flow patterns and underlying mechanism in these geometries. With the ease of implementation, highly stable flow, and further optimization possibilities with different microchannel and taper configurations, the radial geometry is expected to provide significant performance enhancement well beyond a critical heat flux (CHF) of 1 kW/cm2.

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