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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Water Harvesting and Condensation Heat Transfer Enhancement Induced with Electrowetting-On-Dielectric
by Yan, Run, Ph.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2019, 166; 27664422
Abstract (Summary)

As demand for the world’s natural resources continues to rise, energy saving has become an urgent topic. Water harvesting and condensation heat transfer enhancement represent two vital energy-saving objectives. Many researchers have focused on alternating surface wettability by employing advanced materials or complex surface structures to achieve such goals; however, most of these approaches operate in a passive manner. In terms of active methods, electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) has become a popular option owing to its excellent contact angle reversibility, switching speed, and long-term reliability in altering surface wettability.

This dissertation presents a study of the EWOD effect on water harvesting and condensation heat transfer. It describes experimental and analytical studies concerning various characteristics such as EWOD-induced droplet dynamics, water capture capability, and heat transfer performance. It also quantifies water harvesting and condensation heat transfer enhancement. This dissertation is divided into four main studies, each of which considers different aspects of the effects of EWOD on water harvesting and condensation heat transfer.

The first part of this dissertation (Chapter 2) describes microfabrication technologies to obtain EWOD devices, including low-pressure chemical vapor deposition, photolithography, sputtering deposition, and lift-off and spin coating. Mask designs with different electrode configurations and a device microfabrication protocol are also described.

The second part of this dissertation (Chapter 3) presents an experimental investigation of EWOD-induced water harvesting enhancement. EWOD devices were tested in a high-humidity environment under mist flow. Compared with an uncharged EWOD device, the water capture capability of charged devices improved significantly. These results are of great importance, as they indicate strong potential for improvement in water-harvesting applications.

The third part of this dissertation (Chapter 4) describes a visualization study of EWOD-regulated condensation droplet distribution. Side-by-side experiments were performed to compare charged and uncharged devices. Charged devices exhibited a regulated droplet distribution, faster droplet growth, more dispersed droplet distribution, and more large droplets. These experimental results introduced a novel approach to actively influence droplet distribution on microfabricated condensing surfaces and showed promise for improving the condensation heat transfer rate via EWOD.

The fourth part of this dissertation (Chapter 5) discusses the EWOD effect on the condensation heat transfer coefficient and heat flux. The heat transfer coefficient and heat flux were compared on uncharged and charged (40V DC) EWOD devices. Experimental results demonstrated a positive effect of EWOD on condensation heat transfer. This approach could be incorporated into many industrial applications (e.g., heat exchanger fin surfaces, condensing surfaces of waste heat recovery systems, and components of electronic cooling packages) requiring high-efficiency heat dissipation.

In summary, this work makes valuable contributions to the field of water harvesting and condensation heat transfer, proposing a new approach to research in these areas. Findings also detail a new tool to achieve water harvesting and condensation heat transfer enhancement via an active EWOD method.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chen, Chung-Lung
Commitee: Almasri, Mahmoud, Feng, Zaichun, McFarland, Jacob A., Yu, Qingsong
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-B 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Thermodynamics, Water Resources Management, Materials science, Energy
Keywords: Condensation, Electrowetting, Heat transfer, Water harvesting, Energy saving, Surface structures
Publication Number: 27664422
ISBN: 9798569973941
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