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Numerical Study on Effective Conductivity due to Thermal Dispersion in Periodic Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2004.IntThermSciSemin.1040
pages 831-842

J. Y. Xu
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, United Kingdom

T. J. Lu
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, United Kingdom

Howard P. Hodson
Whittle Laboratory, University of Cambridge Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OD, UK

Abstract

This paper presents a general numerical method to quantify the effect of thermal dispersion on the heat transporting capability of a periodic porous medium subjected to forced convection. With a regular geometrical representation for the porous medium and upon introducing a temperature pulse into the steady-state laminar fluid flow, the microscopic flow and temperature fields are obtained using the one-energy-equation model. These are subsequently used to evaluate the effective thermal conductivity of the porous medium.
This approach is first verified with a model of parallel-plate array for which an analytical solution exists. The local thermal equilibrium assumption is discussed and the augment mechanisms of effective thermal conductivity are investigated. Numerical simulations on laminar flow through a matrix of regularly arranged square rods are subsequently carried out. Various factors that affect the thermal dispersion in the porous medium are investigated, such as the solid-to-fluid conductivity ratio, porosity and Peclet number.

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