Fully-developed conjugate heat transfer in porous media with uniform heating

Authored by  DJ Lopez Penha, S Stolz, JGM Kuerten*, M Nordlund, A Kuczaj, BJ Geurts*

Published in International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow     
* This author is not affiliated with PMI.


We propose a computational method for approximating the heat transfer coefficient of fully-developed flow in porous media. For a representative elementary volume of the porous medium we develop a transport model subject to periodic boundary conditions that describes incompressible fluid flow through a uniformly heated porous solid. The transport model uses a pair of pore-scale energy equations to describe conjugate heat transfer. With this approach, the effect of solid and fluid material properties, such as volumetric heat capacity and thermal conductivity, on the overall heat transfer coefficient can be investigated. To cope with geometrically complex domains we develop a numerical method for solving the transport equations on a Cartesian grid. The computational method provides a means for approximating the heat transfer coefficient of porous media where the heat generated in the solid varies “slowly” with respect to the space and time scales of the developing fluid. We validate the proposed method by computing the Nusselt number for fully developed laminar flow in tubes of rectangular cross section with uniform wall heat flux. Detailed results on the variation of the Nusselt number with system parameters are presented for two structured models of porous media: an inline and a staggered arrangement of square rods. For these configurations a comparison is made with literature on fully-developed flows with isothermal walls.