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Non-Intrusive Heat Transfer Coefficient Determination in a Packed Bed of Spheres

[+] Author Affiliations
David J. Geb, Ivan Catton

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. IHTC14-22354, pp. 901-910; 10 pages
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Volume 6
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 8–13, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4941-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3879-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Non-intrusive measurements of the internal average heat transfer coefficient [1] in a randomly packed bed of spherical particles are made. It is desired to establish accurate results for this simple geometry so that the method used can then be extended to determine the heat transfer characteristics in any porous medium, such as a compact heat exchanger. Under steady, one-dimensional flow the spherical particles are subjected to a step change in volumetric heat generation rate via induction heating. The fluid temperature response is measured. The average heat transfer coefficient is determined by comparing the results of a numerical simulation based on volume averaging theory with the experimental results. More specifically, the average heat transfer coefficient is adjusted within the computational procedure until the predicted values of the fluid outlet temperature match the experimental values. The only information needed is the basic material properties, the flow rate, and the experimental data. The computational procedure alleviates the need for solid and fluid phase temperature measurements, which are difficult to make and can disturb the solid-fluid interaction. Moreover, a simple analysis allows us to proceed without knowledge of the heat generation rate, which is difficult to determine due to challenges associated with calibrating an inductively-coupled, sample specific, heat generation system. The average heat transfer coefficient was determined, and expressed in terms of the Nusselt number, over a Reynolds number range of 20–600. The results compared favorably to the work of Whitaker [2] and Kays and London [3]. The success of this method, in determining the average heat transfer coefficient in a randomly packed bed of spheres, suggests that it can be used to determine the average heat transfer coefficient in other porous media.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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