Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Engineering Science

First Advisor

Molki, Majid

Abstract

The enhancement of heat transfer by active and passive methods has been the subject of many academic and industrial research studies. Internal flows play a major role in many applications and different methods have been utilized to augment the heat transfer to internal flows. Secondary flows consume part of the kinetic energy of the flow and disturb the boundary layer. Inducing secondary flows is known as mechanism for heat transfer enhancement. Secondary flows may be generated by corona discharge and ion-driven flows. When a high electric potential is applied to a conductor, a high electric field will be generated. The high electric field may exceed the partial break-down of the neutral molecules of surrounding gas (air) and generate a low-temperature plasma in the vicinity of the conductor. The generated plasma acts as a source of ions that accelerate under the influence of the electric field and escape beyond the plasma region and move toward the grounded electrode. The accelerating ions collide with neutral particles of the surrounding gas and impose a dragging effect which is interpreted as a body-force to the air particles. The shape and configuration of the emitting and receiving electrodes has a significant impact on the distribution of the electric body-force and the resulting electrically-induced flow field. It turned out that the certain configurations of longitudinal electrodes may cause a jet-like secondary flow field on the cross section of the flow passage in internal flows. The impingement effect of the corona jet on the walls of the channel disturbs the boundary layer, enhances the convective heat transfer, and generates targeted cooling along the centerline of the jet. The results of the current study show that the concentric configuration of a suspended wire-electrode in a circular tube leads to a hydrostatic condition and do not develop any electrically-induced secondary flow; however, the eccentric wire-electrode configuration generates a corona jet along the eccentricity direction. The generated corona jet exhibits interesting specifications similar to conventional inertia-driven air jets which are among common techniques for cooling and heat transfer enhancement. On the other hand, wall-mounted flat electrode pairs along the parallel walls of a rectangular mini-channel develop a similar jet-like flow pattern. The impingement of the corona jet to the receiving wall causes excessive heat transfer enhancement and cooling effect. The flat electrode pairs were also utilized to study the effect of corona discharge on the heat transfer specifications of the internal flow between parallel plates in fully-developed condition. It turned out that the electrically-induced secondary flow along with a pressure-driven main flow generates a swirling effect which can enhance the heat transfer significantly in fully-developed condition.

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