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Thermal Analysis

Thermal Analysis is at the core of what we do at our Singapore office in BroadTech Engineering.

Some of the Thermal Simulation Analysis that we are able to carry out includes

1. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Thermal Analysis 
2. Finite Element Method (FEM) Thermal Analysis
5. Steady State Thermal Analysis (IL: Steady State Thermal Analysis)

Featured Thermal Analysis Case Studies

Thermal Analysis

Effect of Inner Cylinder Material on the Heat Transfer Mechanism in the Enclosure

The 2D CFD simulations are performed to study the effect of inner cylinder material on the heat transfer mechanism in the enclosure. An investigation is made to study the impact of various cylinder materials on the heat transfer mechanism.  Material investigated are Aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel, the inner cylinder is kept at a temperature of 400K for all the studies. In such enclosures, a uniform temperature is required for the segregation of chemicals. A more uniform temperature is not observed in all the materials.
In this study, the CFD analysis of conjugate heat transfer within a bottom heated non-conventional cylindrical enclosure is performed. Thermal lines, streamlines and velocity vectors of the enclosure are studied at bottom disc temperature of 400K for the inner cylinder material (aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel). A more uniform axial temperature is seen at the inner wall of the aluminum cylinder at a bottom disc temperature of 400K as compared to mild steel and stainless steel. In mild steel and stainless steel inner cylinders, the temperature spread near the bottom disc at a temperature of the bottom disc 400K decreases with increasing outer cylinder diameters. Buoyancy effects are more prominent in the aluminum inner cylinder as compared to the mild steel and stainless steel inner cylinders showing its convection effects

Numerical Modeling of Solar Radiation Heat Transfer for a Truck Cabin

The temperature inside the vehicle cabin will be higher than the outside environment temperature in parked conditions due to radiative effects.
This increased temperature is not uniformly spread within the driver cabin due to absorption capacities of the various materials used for construction and the angle of incidence of the incoming radiation.
The objective of the work is to predict the accumulation of heat inside the cabin numerically and find hot spots throughout the cabin.
The path of the sun in different seasons and timings on a particular location was calculated and is implemented for the angle of incidence of radiation on the cabin.
The investigation provides the variations of temperature, transmitted solar radiation and amount of absorption by various components that are subjected to assessment.
Thus the major contributing factor for the abrupt increase in temperature was found.

Automobile Exhaust System Heat Exchanger

Simulation Objective
Numerically Simulate Enhanced Heat Recovery from a heat exchanger mounted within an automobile exhaust system.
Methodology/Approach used
The complex geometry is meshed using both polyhedral and thin layer mesh using STAR CCM+ meshing tool. A density-based solver is implemented on the gas side with K-Epsilon turbulence model while a pressure based solver is implemented in the coolant flow side using same K-Epsilon turbulence model. Conduction heat transfer is set within the solid shell, where thin layer meshing has done.
Outcome & Conclusion: Heat recovery from the exhaust gas is calculated from the simulation.

Conjugate Heat transfer CFD Thermal analysis of Radiator fin and Tube Configuration

Transnational periodic model of single coolant tube with fins was prepared. A very fine mesh with boundary layers was prepared for the fluid domain to capture thermal boundary layer in conjugate heat transfer. Across thin solids, three four elements were maintained. Heat transfer coefficient of the system was calculated.

CFD Thermal Analysis of BusBar

Objective: Analyses Air cooling and electrical heating effects on BusBar  
Methodology: Performed two-part simulation in COMSOL Multiphysics, i.e., 1) modeling of electrical heating (conduction), 2) modeling air flow around busbar (convection)
– the model used from COMSOL library and performed conduction and convection heat transfer simulation
– Busbar made of copper with titanium (lower electrical conductivity) bolts is subjected to Joule heating
– Boundary conditions: Convective heat transfer coefficient, h= 5 W/m^2.K; External Temperature, T_exterior= 293.15 K; Electric Potential, V= 20 mV; Airspeed, V_in= 0.1 m/s (Laminar Flow)
– After successfully simulating conduction heat transfer through electric potential at titanium bolts, flow domain is created
Outcome & Conclusion:
– Post processing: Multiscale plot of the electric potential, Surface plot of the Temperature, Isothermal contours, Surface plot of current density, Total displacement due to thermal expansion plot,
– It has been validated that airflow carries away heat at the rate equal to mass flow rate multiplied by specific heat of the air (=1.0)
– In addition, thermal expansion of the busbar has been studied through total displacement plot
– von Mises and principal stresses plotted to assess the structural integrity of the busbar and the bolts.

Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) Simulation for Flow with Heat Transfer

Objective: The objective was to solve various flows with heat transfer using a novel higher order LBM.
Methodology: the Boltzmann equation is solved for flow solution. As we know that higher order moments of the  Boltzmann equation gives exact Navier Stokes equation, we get the DNS solution of NS equation. OpenMPI based parallel c++ code was written which solves the Boltzmann  Equation with a novel LBM model with higher order discretization in velocity space.  The code optimized for speed using SIMD techniques.
Results:
The code was validated for various flow conditions such as internal pipe flow with heat transfer, forced convection for a flow over heated cylinder and sphere. The code was extended to solve the diffusion equation also and was coupled to get solutions for conjugate heat transfer. Basic heat exchanger problems were validated and still in progress.

Thermal Fluid Analysis of a Cab Heater

Performed a thermal fluid analysis to improve the non-uniform outflow temperature distribution of a cab heater.
Done a steady-state analysis using the Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) approach to model the stationary and rotating zones of the cab heater.
Guide vanes are placed at an appropriate location to overcome the problem and improve flow uniformity.

CFD Thermal Analysis of Rectangular Concentric Annulus

Simulation Objective: Thermosolutal Convection in a Rectangular Concentric Annulus: A Comprehensive Study.
Transient Buoyancy- Opposed Double-Diffusive Convection of Micropolar Fluids in a Square Enclosure.
Exhaust Heat Recovery from Automobile Exhaust
Methodology/Approach used: Finite Volume based transient simulation
Outcome & Conclusion:
Heat and mass transfer is analyzed in a plain media and porous media.

Performance Enhancement of a Curved Solar Air Heater using CFD

The conventional flat plate solar air heater (SAH) has been widely used worldwide for solar thermal conversion. A key factor to evaluate the performance of SAH is its thermal efficiency. Various research works have been going on to enhance its performance. Effect on SAH is shown when the smooth flat rectangular flow channel is transformed into a curved surface. A significant increase in the outlet air temperature and, hence thermal efficiency is observed when compared with flat plate SAH.
The model considered for the computational domain of curved SAH having rectangular cross-section throughout along the passage connects inlet and outlet respectively. The dimension of all types of SAH taken exactly same in terms of length, width and height are considered as 1600 mm, 800 mm and 40 mm, respectively and the curvature radius of absorber plate is 3020 mm for all geometries. The CFD analysis using numerical simulations carried out by considering only the core flow section that has been come under investigation i.e. flow passage comprises of absorber plate, bottom plate, air inlet and the air outlet in a single pass flow SAH.
In double pass flow SAH the flow passage has been considered same as in single pass flow and the air available at the outlet of single pass flow directed into the passage in between glass glazing and absorber plate to collect more heat by the air stream as comes in contact with hot absorber plate exposed to uniform heat flux (q) of range 800-1100 W/m2. CFD analysis has been carried out for different geometries of absorber plate of SAH were flat plate smooth single pass (FPSP), flat plate smooth double pass (FPDP), curved plate smooth single pass (CPSP), curved plate smooth double pass (CPDP), curved plate semicircular-corrugated single pass (CPSCSP), and curved plate V-corrugated single pass (CPVCSP) solar air heater (SAH), respectively shown in Fig. 2(i) and Fig. 2(ii). The range corresponds to different relative height and relative pitch ratios of the absorber plate corrugation chosen as 0.125-0.3 and 0.834-3, respectively. Simulations for all cases have been performed at three different values of Reynolds number (Re) 2209.11-6058.04 corresponding to a mass flow rate in the range of 0.0172-0.0472 kg/sm2, respectively. All ranges have been mentioned in Table 1.
The numerical simulations have been carried out for different geometries of curved absorber plate to study the dynamic thermal performance of smooth (single and double pass mode) and effect of different relative height and pitch ratios of semicircular groove and V-groove corrugation of the absorber plate of curved solar air heater. The effect of the various design of absorber plate on heat transfer characteristics i.e. Nusselt number, air outlet temperature and thermal efficiency were obtained. Correlations for the Nusselt number and friction factor are obtained using numerical data.
The key aspects drawn from the results obtained in the present study are mentioned below:
1. Curved geometry of the smooth flow convex rectangular passage of the curved solar air heater proved to be more efficient than the flat plate solar air heater. A considerable increase in the air outlet temperature and thermal efficiency have been seen for the curved plate smooth single pass and double pass solar air heater compare to the flat plate smooth single and double pass solar air heater, respectively.
2. Increase in the relative height and pitch ratios of the corrugation of the absorber plate of curved solar air heater enhances the formation of secondary vortices which imparts more turbulence in the air, results in intense mixing of air near to wall of the absorber plate. It provides the scope of transferring more heat to the flowing air at larger values of mass flow rates compared to curved plate smooth solar air heater without corrugated absorber plate.
3. The maximum thermal efficiency of 91.93% has been seen for the solar air heater with curved plate V-corrugated single pass having P/ev =0.834 and 32.05% percentage increase in the air outlet temperature with respect to curved plate smooth single pass solar air heater.

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