Research Papers: Porous Media

Direct Simulation of Interstitial Heat Transfer Coefficient Between Paraffin and High Porosity Open-Cell Metal Foam

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuanpeng Yao

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: yaoyuanpeng@sjtu.edu.cn

Huiying Wu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: whysrj@sjtu.edu.cn

Zhenyu Liu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: zhenyu.liu@sjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received April 13, 2017; final manuscript received July 20, 2017; published online October 17, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Alan McGaughey.

J. Heat Transfer 140(3), 032601 (Oct 17, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-17-1211; doi: 10.1115/1.4038006 History: Received April 13, 2017; Revised July 20, 2017

The interstitial heat transfer coefficient (IHTC) is a key parameter in the two-energy equation model usually employed to investigate the thermal performance of high porosity open-cell metal foam/paraffin composite phase change material. Due to the existence of weak convection of liquid paraffin through metal foam during phase change process, the IHTC should be carefully determined for a low Reynolds number range (Re = 0–1), which however has been rarely addressed in the literature. In this paper, a direct simulation at foam pore scale is carried out to determine the IHTC between paraffin and metal foam at Re = 0–1. For this purpose, the cell structures reflecting realistic metal foams are first constructed based on the three-dimensional (3D) Weaire–Phelan foam cell to serve as the representative elementary volume (REV) of metal foam for direct simulation. Then, by solving the Navier–Stokes equations and energy equation for the REV, the influences of Reynolds number (Re), Prandtl number (Pr), foam porosity (ε), and pore density (PPI) on the dimensionless IHTC, i.e., the Nusselt number Nuv, are investigated. According to the numerical results, a correlation of Nuv at Re = 0–1 is proposed for metal foam/paraffin composite material, which covers both diffusion-dominated interstitial heat transfer region (Re ≤ 0.1) and convection-dominated interstitial heat transfer region (0.1 < Re ≤ 1). Finally, the applicability of this correlation in the two-energy equation model for solid–liquid phase change of paraffin in metal foam is validated by comparing the model predicted melting front with that of experimental observations made in this study. It is found that the IHTC correlation proposed in this study can be used in the two-energy equation model for well predicting the phase change process of paraffin in metal foam.

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Fig. 1

Microscopic images of real open-cell metal foam structures

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Fig. 2

SEM image of open-cell metal foam

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Fig. 3

Weaire–Phelan foam cell

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Fig. 4

Weaire–Phelan structures: (a) dry foam with eight polyhedrons included in a cubic unit and (b) wet foam

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Fig. 5

REVs of open-cell metal foams with different porosities created from the Weaire–Phelan foam cell

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Fig. 6

Comparison between the present numerical results and predicted values by correlation (3) for asf of metal foam

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Fig. 7

Low Re convection of liquid paraffin through a REV of metal foam

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Fig. 16

Comparisons of different Nuv correlations for ε = 0.935 and ε = 0.968

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Fig. 15

Comparison between numerical predictions and experimental observations of melting front positions for copper foam/paraffin composite materials: (a) ε = 0.935, PPI = 10 and (b) ε = 0.968, PPI = 4

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Fig. 14

(a) Solid–liquid phase change of copper foam/paraffin composite material in a cuboid region and (b) experimental setup for observation of melting front of copper foam/paraffin composite material

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Fig. 13

Comparison between correlation (16) and numerical data of Nuv

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Fig. 12

Variations of Nuv with Pr: (a) in both diffusion and convection-dominated regions at constant ε and PPI and (b) for different ε in the convection-dominated region at constant PPI

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Fig. 11

(a) Variation of Nuv with Re for different ε at constant PPI and Pr and (b) variation of Nuv with PPI in both diffusion and convection-dominated regions at constant ε and Pr

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Fig. 10

Comparison of Nuv between present numerical results and experimental results in literature

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Fig. 9

Temperature fields at different PPIs and Re for (a) ε = 0.929 and (b) ε = 0.974 (Pr = 30.78)

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Fig. 8

(a) Velocity and (b) temperature calculated along the z-direction center line for different grids



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