Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Transient Cooling of the Boiling Surface at Bubble Departure

Giovanni Giustini, S. P. Walker, Yohei Sato, Bojan Niceno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Component-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of boiling via heat flux partitioning relies upon empirical and semimechanistic representations of the modes of heat transfer believed to be important. One such mode, “quenching,” refers to the bringing of cool water to the vicinity of the heated wall to refill the volume occupied by a departing vapor bubble. This is modeled in classical heat flux partitioning approaches using a semimechanistic treatment based on idealized transient heat conduction into liquid from a perfectly conducting substrate. In this paper, we apply a modern interface tracking CFD approach to simulate steam bubble growth and departure, in an attempt to assess mechanistically (within the limitations of the CFD model) the single-phase heat transfer associated with bubble departure. This is in the spirit of one of the main motivations for such mechanistic modeling, the development of insight, and the provision of quantification, to improve the necessarily more empirical component scale modeling. The computations indicate that the long-standing “quench” model used in essentially all heat flux partitioning treatments embodies a significant overestimate of this part of the heat transfer, by a factor of perhaps ∼30. It is of course the case that the collection of individual models in heat flux partitioning treatments has been refined and tuned in aggregate, and it is not particularly surprising that an individual submodel is not numerically correct. In practice, there is much cancelation between inaccuracies in the various submodels, which in aggregate perform surprisingly well. We suggest ways in which this more soundly based quantification of “quenching heat transfer” might be taken into account in component scale modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number091501
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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