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unraveling nucleate BOILing: MODEling, mesoscale simulatiONs and experiments

Project description

Elucidating the mechanism of nucleate boiling

Safe operation of large structures that emit high heat fluxes such as hybrid planes, drones and satellites hinges on efficient cooling solutions. Nucleate boiling can cool down components and systems through transfer of energy as bubbles form and detach from a heated surface to a cooler surrounding liquid. The EU-funded BOIL-MODE-ON project will use computer models to shed insight on the underlying mechanism of bubble inception and departure during boiling. The study will reveal the effects of surface wettability and dissolved gas, which are two of the most complex topics in the field. Experimental campaigns will complement theoretical work. Precise control of certain parameters that affect boiler efficiency will enable practical implementation of nucleate boiling.


Cooling efficiency is of the upmost importance in several crucial technological applications, e.g. fuel cells and battery cooling, hybrid airplanes, drones and satellite thermal management. They have a value of several billions dollars around the world, with a critical contribution to global CO2 production. A promising approach to cope with the always higher heat fluxes requested is represented by phase changing systems which exploit the large latent heat associated with phase change to remove the heat from the hot surface. A robust and effective strategy is to deploy boiling. The basic underlying idea is simple: form vapour bubbles in a liquid in contact with the hot surface and evacuate them through a condenser. Its implementation, however, faces a number of challenges and requires solution to several fundamental problems. In any practical application the boiler efficiency depends on parameters, such as the frequency of bubble nucleation, their size, and the release rate from the hot surface. However, how to precisely control them is still not clear. BOIL-MODE-ON aims at addressing the underlying mechanism of bubble inception and departure during boiling, defining possible new routes and solutions both on the modelling and the practical implementation side. Dr. Magaletti will apply a cutting-edge methodology he developed in the context of cavitation phenomena, based on a mesoscale numerical modelling of the liquid-vapour system embedding thermal fluctuations. It will shed light on the effects of surface wettability and dissolved gas, which are two of the most complex and not yet understood topics in this field. A specific campaign of experiments will complement and support the analysis. The recognised experience of Prof. Marengo, who will supervise this project, on the experimental techniques for boiling guarantees the highest level of synergy and knowledge transfer with the applicant, further developing his research skill-set and enhancing his career prospective.


Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Lewes road mithras house
BN2 4AT Brighton
United Kingdom

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South East (England) Surrey, East and West Sussex Brighton and Hove
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00