Tree-shaped fluid flow and heat storage in a conducting solid

This paper documents the time-dependent thermal interaction between a fluid stream configured as a plane tree of varying complexity embedded in a conducting solid with finite volume and insulated boundaries. The time scales of the convection-conduction phenomenon are identified. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional configurations are simulated numerically. The number of length scales of the tree architecture varies from one to four. The results show that the heat transfer density increases, and the time of approach to equilibrium decreases as the complexity of the tree designs increases. These results are then formulated in the classical notation of energy storage by sensible heating, which shows that the effective number of heat transfer units increases as the complexity of the tree design increases. The complexity of heat transfer designs in many applications is constrained by first cost and operating cost considerations. This work provides a fundamental basis for objective evaluation of cost and performance tradeoffs in thermal design of energy systems with complexity as an unconstrained parameter that can be actively varied over a broad range to determine the optimum system design. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Combelles, L; Lorente, S; Anderson, R; Bejan, A

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 111 / 1

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8979

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1063/1.3671672

Citation Source

  • SciVal