Abstract

The ongoing development of modern electronic systems leads to smaller, more powerful devices that are expected to operate in complex environments. Therefore, 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 flow boiling in the absence of gravity, which is otherwise impractical due to the lack of a required buoyancy force to initiate bubble departure. EHD is a phenomenon that is represented by the interaction between electric fields and fluid flow. The DEP force is characterized by its ability to act on liquid/vapor interfaces due to a high gradient of electrical permittivity. This study investigates the heat transfer characteristics of EHD conduction pumping driven liquid film flow boiling coupled with DEP vapor extraction during a microgravity parabolic flight and on the ground. The results of this study show that EHD and DEP raise the critical heat flux, lower heater surface temperature, and successfully sustain boiling in both micro-gravity and on the ground with low power consumption. Additionally, the heat transfer data captured in terrestrial, microgravity, and 1.8 g conditions compare well, indicating that combining these mechanisms provides thermal enhancement independent of gravity. This study provides fundamental understanding of electrically driven liquid film flow boiling in the presence of phase change, paving the way toward developing next generation heat transport devices for space and terrestrial applications.

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