Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering


S. C. Yao


This research is an investigation of heat transfer from a flat plate using water spray cooling at system pressures that are below standard atmospheric pressure. The focus is on those system pressures below the triple point of water. At the triple point of water, the three phases are in equilibrium: liquid, vapor and solid, at 0.01°C and 612 Pa (4.6 Torr). There are many possible applications of this research, including in space and on earth. In addition to spacecraft applications, this research may apply to vacuum seawater desalination, preservation of biologically active samples, water purification, food storage, and electronics cooling. Experiments were performed to quantify the heat transfer and provide evidence to support the heat transfer mechanism and model. For sprays or any droplet deposition system that can generate discrete small droplets on a surface, this research provides a predictive model to estimate the heat transfer, and experimental data to support the model.