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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Terrence W. Simon, Associate Fellow

Simulations of Turbulent Flow and Heat Transfer in Propulsion Studies; Computation of Flow in a Stirling Engine Regenerator; Computation in Support of the Development of an Electronics Cooling Module

These researchers used MSI for three projects during this period. In the first, they use Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and large-eddy simulation (LES) to study turbulent and transitional flows in aerodynamics and power and propulsion systems. Activities during this period have included: LES of flow in a square duct with heat transfer and rotation; the simulation of pipe, rod bundle, and annular passage flows with large property variations and buoyancy effects (including supercritical fluids); the simulation of film cooling flows; the simulation of flows in complex geometries using the immersed boundary treatment, and the simulation of particle-laden flows. The long-term objectives of this research are twofold. The first goal is to evaluate the accuracy of RANS, LES, and subgrid turbulence models by comparing predicted results with experimentally measured ones. The second is to contribute to the physical understanding of flows and transition in aerodynamics and propulsion systems.

The second project uses Stirling engine regenerators, which are thermal storage devices modeled as porous media. The porous media are often made of randomly distributed wires, which offer resistance to flow. Thermal expansion may create a gap between the regenerator casing and the porous matrix, which offers a least-resistance path for flow. In this research, the researchers compute flow and turbulence through the regenerator with and without a gap. The resistance offered by the distributed wires of the porous medium is modeled using viscous and inertial resistances to flow and porous medium volume-averaged modeling. Pore level turbulent transport is modeled using an eddy dispersion model developed from past experimental research conducted at the Heat Transfer Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. The long-term objective of this work is to show the performance of the state-of-the-art dispersion modeling as applied to this flow condition and suggest regions and conditions within which and under which the modeling must be improved.

The third project involves numerical simulations that are being conducted in support of the development of a MEMS-fabricated, next-generation, air-cooled heat exchanger module. The long-term objective is to fabricate and demonstrate a module that meets the aggressive requirements of the project.

Group Members

Smita Agrawal, Graduate Student
Aaron Boomsma, Graduate Student
Debashish Burman, Graduate Student
Ryan Erickson, Graduate Student
Krithiga Ganesan, Graduate Student
Longzhong Huang, Graduate Student
Farhad A. Jaberi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Joon Lee, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Kunlun Liu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Richard Pletcher, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Yuhyen Seah, Undergraduate Student
Tom Shih, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Wen Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Xiaohang Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa