Numerical simulation of a 2D electrothermal pump by lattice Boltzmann method on GPU

Qinlong Ren, Cho Lik Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Electrothermal flow in a microfluidic system is a fast-developing technology because of the advancement in micro-electro-mechanical systems. The motion is driven by the electrothermal force generated by the AC electric field and non-uniform temperature distribution inside the system. Electrothermal force can be explored for pumps in microfluidic systems. In this paper, the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is used to simulate a 2D electrothermal pump. As an alternative numerical method for fluid dynamics, LBM has many advantages compared with traditional CFD methods, such as its suitability for parallel computation. With its parallel characteristic, LBM is well fitted to the parallel hardware in graphic processor units (GPU). To save computational time in parametric studies, a CUDA code was developed for executing parallel computation. The comparison of computational time between CPU and GPU is presented to demonstrate the advantage of using GPU. The effects of the frequency, thermal boundary conditions, electrode size, and gap between electrodes on volumetric flow rate were investigated in this study. It was shown that LBM is an effective approach to studying 2D electrothermal pumps on a CUDA platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-693
Number of pages17
JournalNumerical Heat Transfer; Part A: Applications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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