Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

constructal theory Related Publications

2 Constructal Enhancement of Fins Design Integrated to Phase Change Materials

Authors: Varun Joshi, Manish K. Rathod

Abstract:

The latent heat thermal energy storage system is a thrust area of research due to exuberant thermal energy storage potential. The thermal performance of PCM is significantly augmented by installation of the high thermal conductivity fins. The objective of the present study is to obtain optimum size and location of the fins to enhance diffusion heat transfer without altering overall melting time. Hence, the constructal theory is employed to eliminate, resize, and re-position the fins. A numerical code based on conjugate heat transfer coupled enthalpy porosity approached is developed to solve Navier-Stoke and energy equation.The numerical results show that the constructal fin design has enhanced the thermal performance along with the increase in the overall volume of PCM when compared to conventional. The overall volume of PCM is found to be increased by half of total of volume of fins. The elimination and repositioning the fins at high temperature gradient from low temperature gradient is found to be vital.

Keywords: fins, Phase Change Materials, constructal theory, enthalpy porosity approach

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1 Reducing Pressure Drop in Microscale Channel Using Constructal Theory

Authors: K. X. Cheng, A. L. Goh, K. T. Ooi

Abstract:

The effectiveness of microchannels in enhancing heat transfer has been demonstrated in the semiconductor industry. In order to tap the microscale heat transfer effects into macro geometries, overcoming the cost and technological constraints, microscale passages were created in macro geometries machined using conventional fabrication methods. A cylindrical insert was placed within a pipe, and geometrical profiles were created on the outer surface of the insert to enhance heat transfer under steady-state single-phase liquid flow conditions. However, while heat transfer coefficient values of above 10 kW/m2·K were achieved, the heat transfer enhancement was accompanied by undesirable pressure drop increment. Therefore, this study aims to address the high pressure drop issue using Constructal theory, a universal design law for both animate and inanimate systems. Two designs based on Constructal theory were developed to study the effectiveness of Constructal features in reducing the pressure drop increment as compared to parallel channels, which are commonly found in microchannel fabrication. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer performance for the Tree insert and Constructal fin (Cfin) insert were studied using experimental methods, and the underlying mechanisms were substantiated by numerical results. In technical terms, the objective is to achieve at least comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop, if not higher increment in the former parameter. Results show that the Tree insert improved the heat transfer performance by more than 16 percent at low flow rates, as compared to the Tree-parallel insert. However, the heat transfer enhancement reduced to less than 5 percent at high Reynolds numbers. On the other hand, the pressure drop increment stayed almost constant at 20 percent. This suggests that the Tree insert has better heat transfer performance in the low Reynolds number region. More importantly, the Cfin insert displayed improved heat transfer performance along with favourable hydrodynamic performance, as compared to Cfinparallel insert, at all flow rates in this study. At 2 L/min, the enhancement of heat transfer was more than 30 percent, with 20 percent pressure drop increment, as compared to Cfin-parallel insert. Furthermore, comparable increment in both heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop was observed at 8 L/min. In other words, the Cfin insert successfully achieved the objective of this study. Analysis of the results suggests that bifurcation of flows is effective in reducing the increment in pressure drop relative to heat transfer enhancement. Optimising the geometries of the Constructal fins is therefore the potential future study in achieving a bigger stride in energy efficiency at much lower costs.

Keywords: pressure drop, microchannel, constructal theory, enhanced heat transfer

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