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Numerical Solution of Melting Processes for Unfixed Phase Change Material in the Presence of Electromagnetic Field: Simulation of Low Gravity Environment

[+] Author Affiliations
Eduardo Gonçalves, Mohammad Faghri

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

Yutaka Asako

Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

Majid Charmchi

University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33874, pp. 453-466; 14 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 7
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3638-X | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Electromagnetic simulation of low-gravity environment has been numerically investigated to study the transport phenomena associated with melting of an electrically conducting Phase Change Material (PCM) inside a rectangular enclosure. Electromagnetic fields are configured in such a way that the resulting Lorentz force can be used to damp and/or counteract the natural convection as well as the flow induced by sedimentation and/or floatation, and thereby simulating the low gravity environment of outer space. The governing equations are discretized using a control-volume-based finite difference scheme. Numerical solutions are obtained for true low-gravity environment as well as for the simulated-low-gravity conditions due to electromagnetic forces. The results show that when the Lorentz force is caused by the presence of magnetic field alone, the low-gravity condition is simulated by the damping effect, which is shown to have a profound effect on the flow field. On the other hand, it is shown that under electromagnetic field simulation, where the Lorentz force is caused by the transverse electric and magnetic fields, it is possible to minimize the flow field distortion caused by the high magnetic field and therefore achieving a much better simulation of low-gravity.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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