It is widely known that dielectrophoretic force can be harnessed to enhance the separation of liquid and vapor phases, with several known benefits in heat transfer enhancement. It has been shown that, when the electrode spacing and the bubble radius are of the same order of magnitude, the presence of the electric field can significantly deform the bubble, and this deformation can significantly affect the bubble’s behavior. Additionally, the presence of a bubble can provide significant, local distortion of the electric field. Consequently, the existence of multiple bubbles in close proximity may generate interactions that serve to further affect bubble deformation and motion behavior. Of course, nucleate boiling involves the generation of several bubbles in close proximity, and it is useful to understand whether these interactions may favorably or adversely affect the potential for heat transfer enhancement. This numerical study simulates the behavior of two and three bubbles within an external, electric field. The geometric deformation of the bubbles due to the electric field and the distortion of the electric field due to the existence of the bubbles are both incorporated into the mathematical model. The numerical results provide information about the effect that one bubble can have on the others’ motion, and also illustrate any tendencies of the bubbles to attract or repel each other when subject to various electric fields. Based on the numerical results, conclusions are drawn on the implications that the observed phenomenon may have on heat transfer enhancement applications.

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