Sireetorn Kuharat

Abstracts

4 Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of a Nanofluid-Based Annular Solar Collector with Different Metallic Nano-Particles

Authors: Sireetorn Kuharat, Anwar Beg

Abstract:

Motivation- Solar energy constitutes the most promising renewable energy source on earth. Nanofluids are a very successful family of engineered fluids, which contain well-dispersed nanoparticles suspended in a stable base fluid. The presence of metallic nanoparticles (e.g. gold, silver, copper, aluminum etc) significantly improves the thermo-physical properties of the host fluid and generally results in a considerable boost in thermal conductivity, density, and viscosity of nanofluid compared with the original base (host) fluid. This modification in fundamental thermal properties has profound implications in influencing the convective heat transfer process in solar collectors. The potential for improving solar collector direct absorber efficiency is immense and to gain a deeper insight into the impact of different metallic nanoparticles on efficiency and temperature enhancement, in the present work, we describe recent computational fluid dynamics simulations of an annular solar collector system. The present work studies several different metallic nano-particles and compares their performance. Methodologies- A numerical study of convective heat transfer in an annular pipe solar collector system is conducted. The inner tube contains pure water and the annular region contains nanofluid. Three-dimensional steady-state incompressible laminar flow comprising water- (and other) based nanofluid containing a variety of metallic nanoparticles (copper oxide, aluminum oxide, and titanium oxide nanoparticles) is examined. The Tiwari-Das model is deployed for which thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity and viscosity of the nanofluid suspensions is evaluated as a function of solid nano-particle volume fraction. Radiative heat transfer is also incorporated using the ANSYS solar flux and Rosseland radiative models. The ANSYS FLUENT finite volume code (version 18.1) is employed to simulate the thermo-fluid characteristics via the SIMPLE algorithm. Mesh-independence tests are conducted. Validation of the simulations is also performed with a computational Harlow-Welch MAC (Marker and Cell) finite difference method and excellent correlation achieved. The influence of volume fraction on temperature, velocity, pressure contours is computed and visualized. Main findings- The best overall performance is achieved with copper oxide nanoparticles. Thermal enhancement is generally maximized when water is utilized as the base fluid, although in certain cases ethylene glycol also performs very efficiently. Increasing nanoparticle solid volume fraction elevates temperatures although the effects are less prominent in aluminum and titanium oxide nanofluids. Significant improvement in temperature distributions is achieved with copper oxide nanofluid and this is attributed to the superior thermal conductivity of copper compared to other metallic nano-particles studied. Important fluid dynamic characteristics are also visualized including circulation and temperature shoots near the upper region of the annulus. Radiative flux is observed to enhance temperatures significantly via energization of the nanofluid although again the best elevation in performance is attained consistently with copper oxide. Conclusions-The current study generalizes previous investigations by considering multiple metallic nano-particles and furthermore provides a good benchmark against which to calibrate experimental tests on a new solar collector configuration currently being designed at Salford University. Important insights into the thermal conductivity and viscosity with metallic nano-particles is also provided in detail. The analysis is also extendable to other metallic nano-particles including gold and zinc.

Keywords: Heat Transfer, Metallic Nanoparticles, Ansys fluent, annular nanofluid solar collector

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3 Oblique Radiative Solar Nano-Polymer Gel Coating Heat Transfer and Slip Flow: Manufacturing Simulation

Authors: Meisam Babaie, Rashid Mehmood, Sireetorn Kuharat, Anwar Beg, Rabil Tabassum

Abstract:

Nano-polymeric solar paints and sol-gels have emerged as a major new development in solar cell/collector coatings offering significant improvements in durability, anti-corrosion and thermal efficiency. They also exhibit substantial viscosity variation with temperature which can be exploited in solar collector designs. Modern manufacturing processes for such nano-rheological materials frequently employ stagnation flow dynamics under high temperature which invokes radiative heat transfer. Motivated by elaborating in further detail the nanoscale heat, mass and momentum characteristics of such sol gels, the present article presents a mathematical and computational study of the steady, two-dimensional, non-aligned thermo-fluid boundary layer transport of copper metal-doped water-based nano-polymeric sol gels under radiative heat flux. To simulate real nano-polymer boundary interface dynamics, thermal slip is analysed at the wall. A temperature-dependent viscosity is also considered. The Tiwari-Das nanofluid model is deployed which features a volume fraction for the nanoparticle concentration. This approach also features a Maxwell-Garnet model for the nanofluid thermal conductivity. The conservation equations for mass, normal and tangential momentum and energy (heat) are normalized via appropriate transformations to generate a multi-degree, ordinary differential, non-linear, coupled boundary value problem. Numerical solutions are obtained via the stable, efficient Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg scheme with shooting quadrature in MATLAB symbolic software. Validation of solutions is achieved with a Variational Iterative Method (VIM) utilizing Langrangian multipliers. The impact of key emerging dimensionless parameters i.e. obliqueness parameter, radiation-conduction Rosseland number (Rd), thermal slip parameter (α), viscosity parameter (m), nanoparticles volume fraction (ϕ) on non-dimensional normal and tangential velocity components, temperature, wall shear stress, local heat flux and streamline distributions is visualized graphically. Shear stress and temperature are boosted with increasing radiative effect whereas local heat flux is reduced. Increasing wall thermal slip parameter depletes temperatures. With greater volume fraction of copper nanoparticles temperature and thermal boundary layer thickness is elevated. Streamlines are found to be skewed markedly towards the left with positive obliqueness parameter.

Keywords: non-orthogonal stagnation-point heat transfer, solar nano-polymer coating, MATLAB numerical quadrature, Variational Iterative Method (VIM)

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2 ANSYS FLUENT Simulation of Natural Convection and Radiation in a Solar Enclosure

Authors: Sireetorn Kuharat, Anwar Beg

Abstract:

In this study, multi-mode heat transfer characteristics of spacecraft solar collectors are investigated computationally. Two-dimensional steady-state incompressible laminar Newtonian viscous convection-radiative heat transfer in a rectangular solar collector geometry. The ANSYS FLUENT finite volume code (version 17.2) is employed to simulate the thermo-fluid characteristics. Several radiative transfer models are employed which are available in the ANSYS workbench, including the classical Rosseland flux model and the more elegant P1 flux model. Mesh-independence tests are conducted. Validation of the simulations is conducted with a computational Harlow-Welch MAC (Marker and Cell) finite difference method and excellent correlation. The influence of aspect ratio, Prandtl number (Pr), Rayleigh number (Ra) and radiative flux model on temperature, isotherms, velocity, the pressure is evaluated and visualized in color plots. Additionally, the local convective heat flux is computed and solutions are compared with the MAC solver for various buoyancy effects (e.g. Ra = 10,000,000) achieving excellent agreement. The P1 model is shown to better predict the actual influence of solar radiative flux on thermal fluid behavior compared with the limited Rosseland model. With increasing Rayleigh numbers the hot zone emanating from the base of the collector is found to penetrate deeper into the collector and rises symmetrically dividing into two vortex regions with very high buoyancy effect (Ra >100,000). With increasing Prandtl number (three gas cases are examined respectively hydrogen gas mixture, air and ammonia gas) there is also a progressive incursion of the hot zone at the solar collector base higher into the solar collector space and simultaneously a greater asymmetric behavior of the dual isothermal zones. With increasing aspect ratio (wider base relative to the height of the solar collector geometry) there is a greater thermal convection pattern around the whole geometry, higher temperatures and the elimination of the cold upper zone associated with lower aspect ratio.

Keywords: Radiative Heat Transfer, Solar Collector, Rayleigh number, thermal convection

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1 Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Turbulent Convective Heat Transfer in Rectangular Mini-Channels for Rocket Cooling Applications

Authors: Meisam Babaie, O. Anwar Beg, Sireetorn Kuharat, Armghan Zubair

Abstract:

In this work, motivated by rocket channel cooling applications, we describe recent CFD simulations of turbulent convective heat transfer in mini-channels at different aspect ratios. ANSYS FLUENT software has been employed with a mean average error of 5.97% relative to Forrest’s MIT cooling channel study (2014) at a Reynolds number of 50,443 with a Prandtl number of 3.01. This suggests that the simulation model created for turbulent flow was suitable to set as a foundation for the study of different aspect ratios in the channel. Multiple aspect ratios were also considered to understand the influence of high aspect ratios to analyse the best performing cooling channel, which was determined to be the highest aspect ratio channels. Hence, the approximate 28:1 aspect ratio provided the best characteristics to ensure effective cooling. A mesh convergence study was performed to assess the optimum mesh density to collect accurate results. Hence, for this study an element size of 0.05mm was used to generate 579,120 for proper turbulent flow simulation. Deploying a greater bias factor would increase the mesh density to the furthest edges of the channel which would prove to be useful if the focus of the study was just on a single side of the wall. Since a bulk temperature is involved with the calculations, it is essential to ensure a suitable bias factor is used to ensure the reliability of the results. Hence, in this study we have opted to use a bias factor of 5 to allow greater mesh density at both edges of the channel. However, the limitations on mesh density and hardware have curtailed the sophistication achievable for the turbulence characteristics. Also only linear rectangular channels were considered, i.e. curvature was ignored. Furthermore, we only considered conventional water coolant. From this CFD study the variation of aspect ratio provided a deeper appreciation of the effect of small to high aspect ratios with regard to cooling channels. Hence, when considering an application for the channel, the geometry of the aspect ratio must play a crucial role in optimizing cooling performance.

Keywords: Turbulence, rocket channel cooling, ANSYS FLUENT CFD, convection heat transfer

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