Constructal tree-shaped two-phase flow for cooling a surface
This paper documents the strong relation that exists between the changing architecture of a complex flow system and the maximization of global performance under constraints. The system is a surface with uniform heating per unit area, which is cooled by a network with evaporating two-phase flow. Illustrations are based on the design of the cooling network for a skating rink. The flow structure is optimized as a sequence of building blocks, which starts with the smallest (elemental volume of fixed size), and continues with assemblies of stepwise larger sizes (first construct, second construct, etc.). The optimized flow network is tree shaped. Three features of the elemental volume are optimized: The cross-sectional shape, the elemental tube diameter, and the shape of the elemental area viewed from above. The tree that emerges at larger scales is optimized for minimal amount of header material and fixed pressure drop. The optimal number of constituents in each new (larger) construct decreases as the size and complexity of the construct increase. Constructs of various levels of complexity compete: The paper shows how to select the optimal flow structure subject to fixed size (cooled surface), pressure drop and amount of header material. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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