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Sound Increases the Efficiency of Boiling 96

hessian writes "Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology achieved a 17-percent increase in boiling efficiency by using an acoustic field to enhance heat transfer. The acoustic field does this by efficiently removing vapor bubbles from the heated surface and suppressing the formation of an insulating vapor film."
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Sound Increases the Efficiency of Boiling

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  • by aaronb1138 ( 2035478 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:57PM (#40117799)

    The amount of efficiency increase might be novel, or the input energy to remove the bubbles might be, but using an "acoustic field" is nothing new in industry. Lots of industrial systems use some form of vibrator to decrease bubble to surface adhesion for increased fluid heating speed and thus, efficiency. They also frequently use such systems to reduce surface foaming, especially in conjunction with vacuum systems to prevent fluid foaming or excess dissolved bubbles / gases.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:34AM (#40118007) Journal
    Just curious, how much more efficient is this compared to using microwaves? I think with microwaves it doesn't matter that much that there are bubbles - the waves will heat the next available spot - no contact needed.

    Can't always use microwaves though e.g. liquid is not suitable, or it's not convenient.
  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:57AM (#40118141)

    There have been units around for years both for home use cleaning jewelry, etc, and for use in various industrial/manufacturing processes, including being used in electronics manufacturing, where I've seen them used to clean PCBs and other electronic assemblies & parts after they undergo a "dirty" manufacturing step like wave-solder, in order to remove all flux, dirt, and oils.

    They used a heated tank of solvent that was agitated by ultrasound transducers to greatly increase cleaning ability and decrease cleaning time. The first time I saw one like that was in the late 1970s. I worked in the government/military-related electronics and aerospace industry.


  • This reminds me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Roskolnikov ( 68772 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:58AM (#40118151)

    of the acoustic effects on disk arrays (and a Dtrace video that showed shouting having a detrimental effect on drive efficiency).

    wouldn't a pressurized vessel (cooker) have the same end result (in that vapor layer formation is prevented or retarded?)
    or as someone else mentioned, using microwaves to boil/heat faster?
    is the 17% efficiency gain taking into account the energy needed to blast the liquid with Eminem?

    the 'article' looks like a fluff piece and the comments say much the same, nothing to see here move along.

  • by anubi ( 640541 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:01AM (#40118485) Journal
    Anyone using this in industrial refrigeration?

    I can't help but think of deliberately running a fancoil unit with an unbalanced fan so it vibrates the evaporator coil.

    Or, possibly mounting piezoelectric "shakers" to the evaporator tubes and deliberately manufacturing them to resonate.

    Thanks, Hessian, for bringing this up. Anything I can do to increase efficiency in refrigeration is of great interest to me.

    There are a lot of unpublished tricks I have come across that significantly increase refrigeration efficiency, but have not implemented because the expense of dealing with the increased sophistication was greater than the expense of energy loss in the simple system. This trick you showed me will make an interesting study.

    I will keep it in the lab for now, as I am sure I will also face metal fatiguing and work-hardening issues.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe