Heat Transfer by Free Convection

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1 Heat Transfer by Free Convection Introduction This example describes a fluid flow problem with heat transfer in the fluid. An array of heating tubes is submerged in a vessel with fluid flow entering at the bottom. Figure 1 shows the setup. Fluid flow direction Heating tubes Figure 1: Heating tubes and direction of the fluid flow Model Definition The first consideration when modeling should always be the true dimension of the problem. Sometimes there are no variations in the third dimensions, and it can be extrapolated from the solution of a related 2D case. Neglecting any end effects from the walls of the vessel, the solution is constant in the direction of the heating tubes, therefore you can reduce the model to a 2D domain. HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION 1

2 Figure 2: Using symmetry to reduce computation time and complexity. The model describes one section of the array of heating tubes (indicated by the dashed lines). The next step is finding symmetries. In this case, using symmetry planes, it suffices to model the thin domain indicated in Figure 2. GOVERNING EQUATIONS This is a multiphysics model because it involves more than one kind of physics. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equations from fluid dynamics work together with a heat transfer equation. There are four unknown field variables (dependent variables): The velocity field components, u and v The pressure, p The temperature, T They are all related through bidirectional multiphysics couplings. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equations consist of a momentum balance (a vector equation) and a mass conservation and incompressibility condition: u 2 ρ + ρu u = p + η u+ F t u = 0 2 HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION

3 Here u is the velocity field. p is the pressure. F is a volume force. ρ is the fluid density. η is the dynamic viscosity. is the vector differential operator. The heat equation is an energy conservation equation that says that the change in energy is equal to the heat source minus the divergence of the diffusive heat flux: ρc T p + u T + ( k T) = Q t where C p is the heat capacity of the fluid and ρ is fluid density. Q represents a source term. The velocity field comes from the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation. Results The analysis of the coupled thermal-fluid model provides the velocity field, pressure distribution, and temperature distribution in the fluid. Figure 3 shows a plot of the velocity field and the temperature. Without heating, you would expect an exit y-velocity that is slightly lower toward the left side, behind the heating tube (wake HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION 3

4 effect). In this case, however, you see that the y-velocity is higher on the left side. This is because of the buoyancy effect of the free convection. Figure 3: The velocity field and temperature distribution in the fluid. Using integration to find the mean temperature at the outlet shows that the temperature increases roughly 0.75 K from the inlet to the outlet. Notes About the COMSOL Implementation To build a model in COMSOL Multiphysics using the above equations, use two physics interlace: the Laminar Flow interface for laminar single-phase fluid flow and the Heat Transfer interface for heat transfer. In this model, the equations are coupled in both directions. First you add free convection to the fluid flow with the Boussinesq approximation. This approximation ignores variations in density with temperature, except that the variations give rise to a buoyancy force lifting the fluid. This force enters the F term in the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. 4 HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION

5 At the same time, the heat equation must account for the velocity field. The velocity field from the Laminar Flow appears automatically as a predefined option in the model input for the velocity field that determines the convective heat transfer. Model Library path: COMSOL_Multiphysics/Multiphysics/free_convection Modeling Instructions MODEL WIZARD 1 Go to the Model Wizard window. 2 Click the 2D button. 3 Click Next. 4 In the Add Physics tree, select Fluid Flow>Single-Phase Flow>Laminar Flow (spf). 5 Click Add Selected. 6 In the Add Physics tree, select Heat Transfer>Heat Transfer in Fluids (ht). 7 Click Add Selected. 8 Click Next. 9 In the Studies tree, select Preset Studies for Selected Physics>Stationary. 10 Click Finish. GLOBAL DEFINITIONS Parameters 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Global Definitions and choose Parameters. 2 Go to the Settings window for Parameters. 3 Locate the Parameters section. In the Parameters table, enter the following settings: NAME EXPRESSION DESCRIPTION v_in 5[mm/s] Inlet velocity T_in 20[degC] Inlet temperature T_heat 50[degC] Heater temperature alpha0 0.18e-3[1/K] Thermal expansion coefficient HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION 5

6 GEOMETRY 1 Rectangle 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Model 1>Geometry 1 and choose Rectangle. 2 Go to the Settings window for Rectangle. 3 Locate the Size section. In the Width edit field, type In the Height edit field, type Click the Build All button. Circle 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Geometry 1 and choose Circle. 2 Go to the Settings window for Circle. 3 Locate the Size section. In the Radius edit field, type Locate the Position section. In the y edit field, type Click the Build All button. Difference 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Geometry 1 and choose Boolean Operations>Difference. 2 Go to the Settings window for Difference. 3 Locate the Difference section. Under Objects to add, click Activate Selection. 4 Select the rectangle only. 5 Go to the Settings window for Difference. 6 Locate the Difference section. Under Objects to subtract, click Activate Selection. 7 Select the circle only. 8 Click the Build All button. DEFINITIONS Define a coupling operator for computing average values over the outlet. Average 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Model 1>Definitions and choose Model Couplings>Average. 2 Go to the Settings window for Average. 3 Locate the Source Selection section. From the Geometric entity level list, select Boundary. 6 HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION

7 4 Select Boundary 4 only. 5 Locate the Operator Name section. In the Operator name edit field, type avgout. Using this operator, define a variable, DeltaT, for the temperature rise from inlet to outlet. Variables 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Definitions and choose Variables. 2 Go to the Settings window for Variables. 3 Locate the Variables section. In the Variables table, enter the following settings: NAME EXPRESSION DESCRIPTION DeltaT avgout(t)-t_in Temperature rise MATERIALS 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Model 1>Materials and choose Open Material Browser. 2 Go to the Material Browser window. 3 Locate the Materials section. In the Materials tree, select Built-In>Water, liquid. 4 Right-click and choose Add Material to Model from the menu. LAMINAR FLOW Symmetry 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Model 1>Laminar Flow and choose Symmetry. 2 Select Boundaries 1, 3, and 5 only. Inlet 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Laminar Flow and choose Inlet. 2 Select Boundary 2 only. 3 Go to the Settings window for Inlet. 4 Locate the Boundary Condition section. In the U 0 edit field, type v_in. Outlet 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Laminar Flow and choose Outlet. 2 Select Boundary 4 only. HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION 7

8 Initial Values 1 1 In the Model Builder window, click Initial Values 1. 2 Go to the Settings window for Initial Values. 3 Locate the Initial Values section. Specify the u vector as 0 x v_in y Volume Force 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Laminar Flow and choose Volume Force. 2 Select Domain 1 only. 3 Go to the Settings window for Volume Force. 4 Locate the Volume Force section. Specify the F vector as 0 x g_const*spf.rho*alpha0*(t-t_in) y Note that the constant temperature expansion coefficient alpha0 is valid only in a region near T = T0. To simulate large temperature differences, you would need to use a temperature-dependent expression, alpha(t). HEAT TRANSFER Heat Transfer in Fluids 1 1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Model 1>Heat Transfer node, then click Heat Transfer in Fluids 1. 2 Go to the Settings window for Heat Transfer in Fluids. 3 Locate the Model Inputs section. From the p list, select Pressure (spf/fp1). 4 From the u list, select Velocity field (spf/fp1). Temperature 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Heat Transfer and choose Temperature. 2 Select Boundary 2 only. 3 Go to the Settings window for Temperature. 4 Locate the Temperature section. In the T 0 edit field, type T_in. Temperature 2 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Heat Transfer and choose Temperature. 8 HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION

9 2 Select Boundaries 6 and 7 only. 3 Go to the Settings window for Temperature. 4 Locate the Temperature section. In the T 0 edit field, type T_heat. Outflow 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Heat Transfer and choose Outflow. 2 Select Boundary 4 only. Initial Values 1 1 In the Model Builder window, click Initial Values 1. 2 Go to the Settings window for Initial Values. 3 Locate the Initial Values section. In the T edit field, type T_in. MESH 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Model 1>Mesh 1 and choose Free Triangular. Size 1 In the Model Builder window, click Size. 2 Go to the Settings window for Size. 3 Locate the Element Size section. From the Predefined list, select Extra fine. 4 Click the Build All button. STUDY 1 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Study 1 and choose Show Default Solver. 2 Expand the Study 1>Solver Configurations node. Solver 1 1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Study 1>Solver Configurations>Solver 1 node. 2 In the Model Builder window, expand the Stationary Solver 1 node, then click Fully Coupled 1. 3 Go to the Settings window for Fully Coupled. 4 Click to expand the Damping and Termination section. 5 From the Damping method list, select Automatic highly nonlinear. 6 In the Model Builder window, right-click Study 1 and choose Compute. HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION 9

10 RESULTS 2D Plot Group 1 1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Results>2D Plot Group 1 node, then click Surface 1. 2 Go to the Settings window for Surface. 3 In the upper-right corner of the Expression section, click Replace Expression. 4 From the menu, choose Heat Transfer>Temperature (T). 5 In the Model Builder window, right-click 2D Plot Group 1 and choose Arrow Surface. 6 Go to the Settings window for Arrow Surface. 7 Locate the Arrow Positioning section. Find the x grid points subsection. In the Points edit field, type In the upper-right corner of the Expression section, click Replace Expression. 9 From the menu, choose Laminar Flow>Velocity field (u, v). 10 Locate the Coloring and Style section. From the Color list, select White. 11 In the Model Builder window, right-click 2D Plot Group 1 and choose Plot. 12 Click the Zoom Extents button on the Graphics toolbar. Derived Values Finally, evaluate the temperature rise. 1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Results>Derived Values and choose Global Evaluation. 2 Go to the Settings window for Global Evaluation. 3 In the upper-right corner of the Expression section, click Replace Expression. 4 From the menu, choose Definitions>Temperature rise (DeltaT). 5 Right-click Global Evaluation 1 and choose Evaluate. The value should be close to 1.1 K. 10 HEAT TRANSFER BY FREE CONVECTION

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