Focusing on partial nucleate pool boiling at low heat flux, SOBER-SJ10, one of 27 experiments of the program SJ-10, has been proposed to study local convection and heat transfer around an isolated growing vapor bubble during nucleate pool boiling on a well characterized flat surface in microgravity. An integrated micro heater has been developed. By using a local pulse overheating method in the experimental mode of single bubble boiling, a bubble nucleus can be excited with accurate spatial and temporal positioning on the top-side of a quartz glass substrate with a thickness of 2 mm and an effective heating area of 4.5 mm in diameter, and then grows under an approximate constant heat input provided by the main heater on the back-side of the substrate. Ten thin film micro-RTDs are used for local temperature measurements on the heating surface underneath the growing bubble. Normal pool boiling experiments can also be carried out with step-by-step increase of heating voltage. A series of ground test of the flight module of SOBER-SJ10 have been conducted. Good agreement of the measured data of single phase natural convection with the common-used empirical correlation warrants reasonable confidence in the data. It is found that the values of the incipience superheat of pool boiling at different subcooling are consistent with each others, verifying that the influence of subcooling on boiling incipience can be neglected. Pool boiling curves are also obtained, which shows great influence of subcooling on heat transfer of partial nucleate pool boiling, particularly in lower heat flux.
The present study is supported financially by the Strategic Priority Research Program on Space Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences under the grant of XDA04020404, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under the grants of 11372327 and 11402273.