The increasing demand of heat dissipation in power plants has pushed the limits of current two-phase thermal technologies such as heat pipes and vapor chambers. One of the most obvious areas for thermal improvement is centered on the high heat flux condensers including improved evaporators, thermal interfaces, etc, with low cost materials and surface treatment. Dropwise condensation has shown the ability to increase condensation heat transfer coefficient by an order of magnitude over conventional filmwise condensation. Current dropwise condensation research is focused on Cu and other special metals, the cost of which limits its application in the scale of commercial power plants. Presented here is a general use of self-assembled monolayer coatings to promote dropwise condensation on low-cost steel-based surfaces. Together with inhibitors in the working fluid, the surface of condenser is protected by hydrophobic coating, and the condensation heat transfer is promoted on carbon steel surfaces.

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