While laminar flow heat transfer and mixing in microfluidic geometries has been investigated experimentally, as has the effect of geometry-induced turbulence in microfluidic flow (it is well documented that turbulence increases convective heat transfer in macrofluidic flow), little literature exists investigating the effect of electrokinetically-induced turbulence on heat transfer at the micro scale. Using recently observed experimental data, this work employed computational fluid dynamics coupled with electromagnetic simulations to determine if electrokinetically-forced, low-Reynolds number turbulence could be observed in a rectangular microchannel with using Newtonian fluids. Analysis of the results was done via comparison to the experimental criteria defined for turbulent flow. This work shows that, even with a simplified simulation setup, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software can produce results comparable to experimental observations of low-Reynolds turbulence in microchannels using Newtonian fluids. In addition to comparing simulated velocities and turbulent energies to experimental data this work also presents initial data on the effects of electrokinetic forcing on microfluidic flow based on entropy generation rates.
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