Flow boiling in small-sized channels attracted extensive investigations in the past two decades due to special requirements for transfer of high heat fluxes from narrow spaces in various industrial applications. Experiments on various aspects of flow boiling in narrow channels were carried out and theoretical attempts were undertaken. But these investigations showed large differences, e.g. up till now the knowledge on the development of flow patterns in small non-circular flow passages is very limited. This paper deals with investigations on flow boiling of water in two rectangular channels with dimensions (width×depth) 2.0×4.0 mm2 and 0.5×2.0 mm2 (corresponding hydraulic diameters are 2.67 mm and 0.8 mm). The pressure at the test section exit is atmospheric. For steady-state experimental conditions the effects of heat flux, mass flux and inlet subcooling on the boiling heat transfer coefficient and the pressure drop are investigated. Flow patterns and the transition of flow patterns along the channel axis are visualized and documented with a video-camera. Bubbly flow, slug flow and annular flow are distinguished in both channels. Preliminary flow pattern maps are generated.

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