Experiments on Transient Condensing Flow through a Porous Medium

[+] Author and Article Information
R. H. Nilson, P. C. Montoya

Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics Department, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

J. Heat Transfer 102(3), 489-494 (Aug 01, 1980) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3244328 History: Received November 16, 1979; Online October 20, 2009


A cold, initially-dry column of sand receives a sudden inflow of dry saturated Freon vapor (CCl3 F) from a high-pressure high-temperature reservoir. Condensation occurs as the hot vapor penetrates into the cold sand, resulting in a co-current liquid/vapor flow. The axial distribution of condensate is wave-like with a (Buckley/Leverett-type) saturation-jump on the leading edge. Temperature and pressure profiles are in good agreement with a simple integral analysis which includes the essential features of the process: vapor-phase mass transfer, fluid/solid energy transfer by condensation, and liquid-phase flooding of the pore volume. The reported ensemble of experiments confirms the theoretical model over a broad range of saturation (from nearly dry to liquid-full) and over a broad range of Reynolds number (from Darcy flow to inertia-dominated flow). The considered problem is exemplary of the phase-change flows which occur in a number of geologic applications: containment of underground nuclear tests, steam stimulation of oil fields, geothermal energy, and in situ combustion processes.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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