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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

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

PI: Paul J. Strykowski
Co-PI: Terrence W. Simon, Associate Fellow

Computational Modeling of Free Convection in Fluid Porous Layers Heated From Below

These researchers are carrying out a numerical investigation to model the buoyancy-induced flow and heat transfer in a partially saturated porous medium. This type of convective motion may occur around a nuclear waste repository in crystalline rock. The system will be modeled as a cylinder that is partially filled with metal foam and is heated from below with a uniform heat flux. The continuum conservation equations and the local volume averaged equations will be applied to determine the velocity and temperature fields in the fluid layer and porous layer, respectively. The temperature solutions are utilized to determine the Nusselt number as a function of Raleigh number.

The coupled momentum and energy equations will be discritized using the finite volume method. The second order upwind will be applied to handle the convection-diffusion flux at the control volume faces, and the SIMPLER algorithm will be utilized to handle the velocities and pressure coupling. The discritized equations are then solved iteratively using the Guess-seidel scheme and the convergence rate will be enhanced using a multigrid technique.

Group Members

Aiman Alshare, Graduate Student
Guus B. Jacobs, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois
Deborah Kacmarynski, Graduate Student
Farzad Mashayek, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois