The ongoing development of modern electronic systems leads to smaller, more powerful devices that are expected to operate in complex environments. Due to this, advanced thermal management technologies are required to meet the growing demand, especially in space where two-phase thermal systems are limited by the absence of gravity. Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) and dielectrophoretic (DEP) forces can be used to sustain stable liquid film boiling in micro-gravity, which is otherwise impractical due to the lack of a required buoyancy force to initiate bubble departure. EHD and DEP are phenomena that are represented by the interaction between electric fields and fluid flow. The DEP force especially is characterized by the unique ability to act on liquid/vapor interfaces due to a high gradient of electrical permittivity, allowing for two phase operation. This study investigates the effect of EHD conduction pumping coupled with DEP vapor extraction on liquid film flow boiling during a microgravity parabolic flight, and it characterizes the future two-phase microgravity heat transport technology prior to testing on the International Space Station (ISS). The results of this study show that EHD and DEP raise critical heat flux, lower heater surface temperature, and successfully sustain boiling in micro-gravity all at the cost of low power consumption. Additionally, the heat transfer data captured in terrestrial, microgravity, and 1.8 g conditions compare well, indicating that this technology can provide thermal enhancement independent of gravity. This study paves the way for future implementation of EHD-driven two-phase heat transport devices into space and aeronautical electronics applications.

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