Local-Scale Simulations of Nucleate Boiling on Micrometer-Featured Surfaces

Hariswaran Sitaraman, Gilberto Moreno, Sreekant Narumanchi, Ercan Dede, Shailesh Joshi, Feng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based model for bubble nucleation of the refrigerant HFE7100 on micrometer-featured surfaces is presented in this work. The single-fluid, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, along with energy transport and natural convection effects, are solved on a featured surface resolved grid. An a priori cavity detection method is employed to convert raw profilometer data of a surface into well-defined cavities. The cavity information and surface morphology are represented in the CFD model by geometric mesh deformations. Surface morphology is observed to initiate buoyancy-driven convection in the liquid phase, which in turn results in faster nucleation of cavities. Simulations pertaining to a generic rough surface show a trend where smaller size cavities nucleate with higher wall superheat. This local-scale model will serve as a self-consistent connection to larger device scale continuum models where local feature representation is not possible.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2017
EventASME 2017 Heat Transfer Summer Conference, HT 2017 - Bellevue, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 201712 Jul 2017


ConferenceASME 2017 Heat Transfer Summer Conference, HT 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-2C00-68294 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-2C00-70576


  • CFD
  • computational
  • fluid dynamics
  • high fidelity
  • incompressible Navier-Stokes
  • profilometer
  • surface morphology


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