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International Conference on Energy Conversion and Conservation

Rarefaction Effect on Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Microchannel


1*

Hossein Afshar, Seyed Mojtaba Mousavi Nainian, Mehrzad Shams, Goodarz Ahmadi

Ph.D Candidate, Mechanical Engineering Department, K.N.Toosi University of Technology


Mollasadra Ave. Vanak Sq., Tehran, 19991-43344, Iran
2
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, K.N.Toosi University of Technology
Mollasadra Ave. Vanak Sq., Tehran, 19991-43344, Iran
3
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, K.N.Toosi University of Technology
Mollasadra Ave. Vanak Sq., Tehran, 19991-43344, Iran
4
Proffesor, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department, Clarkson University
Potsdam NY, 13699, USA
* E-mail: ho_afshar@yahoo.com

Keywords: Slip Flow, Heat Transfer, Microchannel, Rarefaction

Abstract
If the hydrodynamic diameter of a channel is comparable with the mean free path of the gas molecules moving
inside the channel, the fluid can no longer be considered to be in thermodynamic equilibrium and a variety of
non-continuum or rarefaction effects can occur. To avoid enormous complexity and extensive numerical cost
encountered in modeling of nonlinear Boltzmann equations, the Navier-Stokes equations can be solved considering
the concepts of slip flow regime and applying slip velocity boundary conditions at the solid walls.
In this study, a new slip boundary condition according to the kinetic theory of gases is introduced. Navier-Stokes and
energy equations for fluid flow in a microchannel in no-slip and slip flow regimes are solved. Temperature and
velocity profiles are evaluated and the effect of rarefaction parameters on heat transfer in the microchannel is
discussed.

I. Introduction

dimensional quantity, is defined as (1)


Kn =

Even though the balance and the conservation


equations of fluid-dynamics are valid in all rarefaction
regimes, the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations
becomes lacking with increasing rarefaction. In fact,
numerical integration of these equations relies also on
the computation of shear stress and heat flux. In
low-density regimes phenomenological equations of
Newton, Fourier and Fick are no longer valid.
Furthermore, as the density decreases, the
intermolecular collisions in the gas get too few for
maintaining the isotropy of the pressure tensor, the
conventional no-slip boundary condition can be no
longer applied and finally effects such as thermal and
pressure diffusion, usually not included in the
Navier-Stokes solvers, become more prominent.
In recent years, many researchers are interested in
small scale flows and many attempts are made in
minimization of scales and improvement of the
performance of instruments (Latif (2008), by increasing
the usage of small scale instruments, understanding
the behavior of such flows has become more important.
In micro-scale, rarefaction and interferences between
fluid and solid surface that causes the violation of no
slip boundary condition need to be accounted for in the
analysis.
In most macro-scale applications, the fluid flow in
channels is in turbulent flow regime but in micro-scale
and nano-scale applications, most fluid flows are in
laminar regime. The Knudsen number which is the
ratio of mean free path over flow characteristic length,
defines flow characteristics when the flow dimensions
approach the molecular mean free path. This non

Lc

(1)

Where Lc is the flow characteristic length, (hydraulic


diameter in a microchannel), and is the molecular
mean free path. Flow regime is defined according to
the value of Knudsen number.
Continuum Flow
Kn 10 3
10 3 Kn 10 1
10 1 Kn 10

Slip Flow
Transitional Flow

Free Molecular Flow


Kn > O(10)
In microchannels even though the fluid density whould
not rely on low-density regime, but because of the
value of length scale which would be in order of mean
free path, it could be in slip flow regime.
Morini et al. (2005) theoretically investigated the
conditions for experimentally evidencing rarefaction
effects on the pressure drop. It was demonstrated that
for a fixed geometry of the microchannel cross-section,
it is possible to calculate the minimum value of the
Knudsen number for which the rarefaction effects can
be observed experimentally. Hung and Ru (2006)
studied the heat transfer characteristics of fluid flow in
microchannel by the lattices-Boltzmann method. A
nine-velocity model and an internal energy distribution
model were used to obtain the mass, momentum and
temperature distributions in micro-channel flow.
Khadem et al. (2008) performed a two dimensional
numerical simulation for incompressible and
compressible fluid flow through microchannels in slip
flow regime.

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Cooling of electronic microchips is one important


application of microchannels. Webb (2005) introduced
microchannels as next generation devices for
electronic cooling.The heat flux in these cases can
reach to 100 w/cm2. Afshar et al. (2008 and 2009)
studied heat transfer and dispersion of nanoparticles in
a microchannel. They studied channel adsobtion
efficieny and slip effect on dispersion of nanoparticles.
Martin and Boyd (2006) modeled the fluid flow in a
laminar boundary layer using a slip boundary condition.
It was shown that the slip condition changes the
boundary layer structure from a self-similar profile to a
two-dimensional structure.
One of the most important concerns in modelling
rarefied flow in a microchannel in slip flow regime is
how to apply slip boundary conditions for velocity and
temperature. Hettiarachchi et al. (2008) numerically
studied Three-dimensional laminar slip-flow and heat
transfer in rectangular microchannels having constant
temperature walls using the finite-volume method for
thermally and simultaneously developing flows. They
defined a modified convectiondiffusion coefficient at
the
wallfluid
interface
to
incorporate
the
temperature-jump boundary condition. Zhang et al.
(2009)
established
a
numerical
model
for
three-dimensional compressible gaseous slip flow in
microchannel. They modified gas viscosity based on
Knudsen number using Veijolas model due to the
increased rarefaction effects in microscale.
In this study an analytical method for velocity and
themperature boundary conditions in slip flow regime
according to rarefied gas dynamics will be presented.

ui is the tangential velocity of incident molecules which


come from out of the Knudsen layer, ur is the velocity of
reflected molecules and uw is the wall velocity.
2 T 2 T

Ts Tw =

(8)

T + 1 Pr n w

T is the energy accommodation coefficient. Ts is the


temperature of fluid molecules adjascent to the wall.
is the specific heat.
ei e r
(9)
ei e w
ei is the energy of incident molecules, er is the energy
of reflected molecules and ew is the energy of wall
molecules.

T =

III.Methodology
According to the definition of Knudsen number (eq.1), if
the characteristic length is comparable to the mean
free path of the molecules, assumption of equilibrium
will not be valid any more. The non-equilibrium
exchange in momentum and energy between
molecules is done in Knudsen layer which height is
about a mean free path of the molecules (Struchtrup et
al. (2007)) so the molecules move toward the wall form
out of the Knudsen layer where equilibrium conditions
are valid and then reflect. Distance between the
centers of molecules from the wall is equal to radius of
molecules, so slip occurs in a molecular radius from
the wall (figure 1).
ui , ei

II.Governing Equations
In two dimensional incompressible fluid flow, continuity
and momentum equations are as follows:
u v
+
=0
(2)
x y
u

2u 2u
u
p
u
+v
=
+ 2 + 2
x
y
x
y
x

v v
v
v
p
+v
=
+ 2 + 2
x
y
y
y
x
2

Knudsen Layer

us , es
Figure 1: Knudsen layer and slip surface near the
wall

(3)

By assuming that the temperature of reflected


molecules will be equal to the wall temperature, the
momentum flux for molecules adjascent to the wall is
1
s = n s mC s u s
(10)
4
ns is molecular number density, m is weight of
molecules and C is the mean thermal velocity which is
defined as:
8RT
(11)
C =
M
R is the gas constant and M is the molar weight of the
gas.
For molecules adjascent to the wall, half of them are
coming from out of the kndusen layer and half of them
are reflecting from the wall. So the momentum flux can
be written as:
1
1
1
n s mC s u s = ni mC i u i + n r mC r u r
(12)
4
4
4
Substituting ur from equation (7) and C from equation

(4)

Energy equation:
c p (u

T
T
2 T 2T
+v
)= k( 2 + 2 )
x
y
x
y

(5)

In order to obtain velocity and temperature fields,


above equations should be solved according to proper
boundary conditions. For rarefied flows in slip flow
regime, slip boundary conditions should be applied.
2 v u
3 T
+
u s = u r u w =

(6)
n

4 T s w
v

v is the tangential momentum accommodation


coefficient. n and s are directions normal and tangebtial
to the boundary. us is the velocity of fluid molecules
adjascent to the wall.
u ur
v = i
(7)
ui u w
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International Conference on Energy Conversion and Conservation

1
n s and EAC
2
equal to unity, a non-linear equation for velocity and
temperature slip is obtained.
1
Ts u s =
Ti u i + Tw (1 v )u i + Tw v u w
(13)
2
Equation (13) can be sloved by an itertive procedure to
obtain velocity and temperature slip instead of using
equations (6) and (8) as boundary conditions.
Reordering equation (8) leads to have temperature of
molecules adjacent to the wall.
2 T 2 Ti Ts
Ts T w =
(14)
T + 1 Pr
Ts is the temperature of gas molecules adjacent to the
wall, Ti is the temperature of gas molecules a distance
of mean free path (Knudesn layer thickness) from the
wall. So Ts can be written explicitly in terms of
temperature of incoming molecules and wall
temperature.
2 (2 T )Ti + Pr T ( + 1)TW
Ts =
(15)
( + 1) T Pr + 2 (2 T )
Combining equations (13) and (15) lead to temperature
and velocity slip in term of wall and flow in equilibrium
conditions.
These relations can be used instead of conventional
boundary conditions that use gradients, and can
accelerate the numerical convergence.
Note that in equation (15), the second grid point in
numerical simulation should be placed in a distance of
mean free path from the wall.
If temperature effect on tangential velocity slip whould
be neglected, then velocity profile in the microchannel
due to analytical solution can be written as equation
(16).
2

2 v
H 2 dp y y
Kn
u( y) =
+2
(16)
2 dx H H
v

According to equation (16) it can be concluded that as


the Knudsen number increases, the maximum velocity
at the centre of the microchannel decreases whilst the
tangential slip-velocity at the wall increases. The net
effect of these changes is to produce a velocity profile
which becomes more uniform with increasing Knudsen
number. Another interesting feature of the flow
redistribution is the fact that the velocity remains
invariant with respect to Knudsen number at two
locations across the microchannel. It can readily be
shown that for flow in the microchannel position of this
feature occurs at
y 1
1
=
(17)
H 2 2 3
It should be noted that equation (16) and (17) are valid
for traditional first order slip boundary condition without
consideration of temperature effects.

hydro dynamically fully developed. Constant


temperature of 500K is imposed to upper and lower
walls. Tangential momentum accommodation and
energy accommodation coefficients are set to unity.
Velocity and temperature distribution in the

(11) to equation (12), noting that ni = nr =

Figure 2: Configuration of the microchannel

microchannel is shown in figures (3) and (4)


respectively.
As the temperature is constant in upper and lower

Figure 3: Slip-Velocity distribution in the


microchannel (Kn=.01)

walls, so temperature variation occurs just in a small


region in the channel entrance and in the rest of
microchannel, the temperature is constant.
Also
temperature and velocity slip can be seen in figures (3)
and (4).

Figure (4): Temperature distribution in the


microchannel in slip flow regime (Kn=.01)

Kn=0
Kn=0.01

IV.Results
Slip flow in a short microchannel with 4 micrometers
height and 100 micrometers long (Figure 2) is
investigated.
Air flow enters the microchannel uniformly with velocity
of 0.3 m/s, Temperature of 300K and in the exit; it is

Figure (5): Velocity profile in x/L=1/70

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International Conference on Energy Conversion and Conservation

microchannel for no-slip boundary condition is shown in


figure (7). Air flow temperature in the enterance is 300K
and upper and lower walls are at constant temperature of
500K. As shown in figure (7), air temperature inceases as it
flows in the channel and after x/L greater than 4/70,
temperature becomes uniform equal to 500K.
Temperature distribution in different sections of the
microchannel for Knudsen number equal to 0.01 is shown in
figure (8).

Velocity profile in a channel section where temperature

Kn=0

Kn=0.01

x/L=1/70
x/L=3/70
x/L=2/70

Figure (6): Velocity profile in x/L=3/70

is not fully developed (x/L=1/70) for slip and no-slip


flow regimes is shown in figure (5).
Velocity profile in a channel section (x/L=3/70) for slip
and no-slip flow regimes is shown in figure (6).
Temperature effect on slip velocity is obvious in figures
(5) and (6). As it is supposed, slip velocity profile is
flater than no-slip profile.
Figure (6) shows that two positions in the microchannel
that velocity remains invariant with respect to Knudsen
number are not the positions that are referd to in
equation (17). So it can be concluded that as
temperature effect is often neglected in equation (6)
and so in derivation of equation (17), they can not be
introduced as proper statements in slip flow regime.
Comparison of figures (5) and (6) shows that constant
velocity positions versus Knudsen number move
toward the center of the microchannel as the flow
passes the entrance region and becomes fully
developed.

Figure (8): Slip-temperature distribution in


different sections of the microchannel
(Kn=0.01)

Figure (8) shows that slip temperature decreases along


the microchannel. Comparing figures (7) and (8) show
that the temperature in the center of the microchannel
decreases due to slip. It means that thermal slip
increases the thermal entrance region (figure 4) and
fluid passes a distance more than no-slip flow to have
zero temperature gradient.
Temperature distribution in different sections of the
microchannel for Knudsen number equal to 0.1 is shown in
figure (9).

x/L=1/70
x/L=1/70

x/L=2/70
x/L=2/7

x/L=3/70
x/L=3/70

Figure (7): No-slip temperature distribution


in different sections of the microchannel

Figure (9): Slip-temperature distribution in


different sections of the microchannel

Temperature distribution in different sections of the

Figure (9) shows that rarefaction has more effect on

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International Conference on Energy Conversion and Conservation

Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 36, 10601066,


(2009)
Afshar H., Shams M., Nainian S.M.M, Ahmadi G., Two phase
Analysis of Heat Transfer and Dispersion of Nano Particles in
a Microchannel, Proceedings of 2008 ASME Summer Heat
Transfer Conference, August 10-14, Jacksonville, Florida
USA, (2008)
Hakak Khadem M., Shams M., and Hossainpour S., Direct
simulation of roughness effects on rarefied and compressible
flow at slip flow regime, International Communications in
Heat and Mass Transfer, 36, 88-95, (2009)
Hettiarachchi H.D.M., Golubovic M., Worek W. M.,
Minkowycz W.J. , Three-dimensional laminar slip-flow and
heat transfer in a rectangular microchannel with constant wall
temperature, International Journal of Heat and Mass
Transfer, 51, 50885096,( (2008)
Hung W. Ch., Ru Y., A numerical study for slip flow heat
transfer, Applied Mathematics and Computation, 173,
12461264, (2006)
Latif M. J., Effect of Rarefaction, Dissipation, and
Accommodation Coefficients on Heat Transfer in
Microcylindrical Couette Flow, Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol.
130, (2008)
Martin M.J., Boyd L.D., Momentum and Heat Transfer in a
Laminar Boundary Layer with Slip Flow, JOURNAL OF
THERMOPHYSICS AND HEAT TRANSFER, 20, 4,
OctoberDecember, (2006)
Morini G. L., Lorenzini M., Spiga M., "A criterion for
experimental validation of slip-flow models for incompressible
rarefied gases through microchannels", Microfluid Nanofluid,
1, 190196, (2005)
Struchtrup H., Thatcher T. and Torrilhon M., Couette flow
solution for regularized 13 moment equations, Rarefied Gas
Dynamics: 25-th International Symposium, Novosibirsk,
(2007)
Webb R., Next generation devices for electronic cooling with
heat rejection to the air, Journal of Heat Transfer, 127, (2005)
Zhang T.T., Jia L., Wang Z.C., Li C.W., Slip flow
characteristics of compressible gaseous in microchannels,
Energy Conversion and Management 50, 16761681, (2009)

the temperature distribution in thermal entrance region.


Comparing figures (7), (8) and (9) show that by
increasing the Knudsen number, mean temperature in
channel sections decreases. It can be concluded that
by increasing the Knudsen number, the rate of
microchannel heat transfer decreases.
V.Conclusions
New relations which are introduced as boundary
conditions for slip flow regime can be applied easily in
numerical and analytical solutions in comparison to
conventional relations.
Velocity is found explicitly in terms of temperature slip,
so it accelerates the convergence in numerical
simulations.
In derivation of above mentioned slip boundary
conditions, equations and relations of kinetic theory of
gases are used which are not limited to Knusden
numbers between 0.001 and 0.1. So it can be
concluded that these boundary conditions are more
general.
Nomenclature
Kn

Lc
u
v

Cp

v
us
ui
ur
uw

Ts

ei
er
ew
s
ns
m
C
R
M
L
H

: Knudsen number
: Mean free path of the molecules
: Characteristic length
: Fluid velocity in x direction
: Fluid velocity in y direction
: Dynamic viscosity
: Fluid Temperatue
: Fluid density
: Fluid specific heat
: Tangential momentum accommodation
coefficient
: Velocity of fluid molecules adjascent to the
wall
: Tangential velocity of incident molecules
which come from out of the Knudsen layer
: Velocity of reflected molecules from the wall
: Velocity of the wall
: Energy accommodation coefficient
: Temperature of fluid molecules adjascent to
the wall
: Specific heat
: Energy of incident molecules
: Energy of reflected molecules
: Energy of wall molecules
: Momentum flux of molecules adjacent to
the wall
: Molecular number density
: Weight of molecules
: Mean thermal velocity
: Gas constant
: Molar weight of the gas
: Length of the microchannel
: Height of the microchannel

References
Afshar H., Shams M., Nainian S.M.M, Ahmadi G.,
Microchannel Heat Transfer and Dispersion of Nanoparticles
in Slip Flow Regime with Constant Heat Flux, International
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