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Numerical study of heat transfer in a porous medium of steel balls

In this study, heat transfer in unidirectional flow through a porous medium with the fluid phase being water is analyzed using the commercial software Comsol©. The aim of the study is to validate the suitability of this package for similar problems regarding heat transfer calculations in unidirectional flow through porous media. The porous medium used in the study is comprised of steed balls of 3 mm in diameter filled in a pipe of 51.4 mm inner diameter. The superficial velocity range is 3-10 mm/s which correspond to a Reynolds number range of 150-500 for an empty pipe. Heat is applied peripherally on the outer surface of the pipe at a rate of ca. 7.5 kW/m2 using electrical ribbon heaters. The numerical results obtained using the commercial software Comsol© are compared with those obtained in the experiments once conducted by the author of this article. Results have shown that Comsol© can generate reliable results in heat transfer problems through porous media, provided all parameters are selected correctly, thus making it unnecessary to prepare expensive experimental setups and spending extensive time to conduct experiments.
PAPER REVISED: 2017-02-20
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2017-02-20
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