Experimental pool boiling investigation of FC-72 on silicon with artificial cavities, integrated temperature micro-sensors and heater
Today nucleate boiling is widely used in numerous industrial applications such as cooling processes because of the high achieved heat transfer rates for low temperature differences. It remains a possible cooling solution for the next generation of central processing units (CPU), which dissipate heat fluxes exceeding the capabilities of today’s conventional forced air cooling. However, nucleate boiling is a very complex and elusive process involving many mechanisms which are not fully understood yet and a comprehensive model is still missing. For this study a new experimental setup was designed, constructed and commissioned to investigate bubble nucleation, growth, departure and interaction during nucleate pool boiling from a silicon device fully immersed in fluorinert FC-72. The location of bubble nucleation is controlled by artificial cavities etched into the silicon substrate. Boiling is initiated with a heater integrated on the back and micro-sensors indicate the wall temperature at the bubble nucleation site. During this work three different silicon test section designs were fabricated and boiling experiments on these substrates successfully conducted. Bubble growth, bubble departure frequencies and bubble departure diameters for different dimensioned artificial cavities, varied pressure and increasing wall temperature were measured from high-speed imaging sequences. Bubble interactions like vertical and horizontal coalescence were visualised and their impact on the boiling heat transfer investigated. The influence of spacing between two neighbouring artificial cavities on bubble nucleation and departure frequencies, vertical coalescence frequencies and departure diameters was analysed. The acquired data are used as input for a numerical code developed by our collaborators (Brunel University, UK and Los Alamos National Laboratories, USA) and are a first step to validate the code. The code studies the interactions between bubble nucleation sites on solid surfaces as a network. The simulations will help design boiling substrates utilised for chip cooling applications with optimal artificial cavity distribution to maximise the cooling heat transfer.