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CFD Simulations of Flow and Heat Transfer Through the Porous Interface of a Metal Foam Heat Exchanger

[+] Author Affiliations
Emilie Sauret, Suvash C. Saha

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Kamel Hooman

University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Paper No. POWER2014-32157, pp. V001T03A005; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 1: Fuels and Combustion, Material Handling, Emissions; Steam Generators; Heat Exchangers and Cooling Systems; Turbines, Generators and Auxiliaries; Plant Operations and Maintenance; Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM); Plant Systems, Structures, Components and Materials Issues
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4608-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper offers numerical modelling of a waste heat recovery system. A thin layer of metal foam is attached to a cold plate to absorb heat from hot gases leaving the system. The heat transferred from the exhaust gas is then transferred to a cold liquid flowing in a secondary loop. Two different foam PPI (Pores Per Inch) values are examined over a range of fluid velocities. Numerical results are then compared to both experimental data and theoretical results available in the literature. Challenges in getting the simulation results to match those of the experiments are addressed and discussed in detail. In particular, interface boundary conditions specified between a porous layer and a fluid layer are investigated. While physically one expects much lower fluid velocity in the pores compared to that of free flow, capturing this sharp gradient at the interface can add to the difficulties of numerical simulation. The existing models in the literature are modified by considering the pressure gradient inside and outside the foam. Comparisons against the numerical modelling are presented. Finally, based on experimentally-validated numerical results, thermo-hydraulic performance of foam heat exchangers as waste heat recovery units is discussed with the main goal of reducing the excess pressure drop and maximising the amount of heat that can be recovered from the hot gas stream.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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