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Natural convection in a horizontal cylindrical annulus using porous fins

S. Kiwan (Mechanical Engineering Department, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
O. Zeitoun (Mechanical Engineering Department, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 27 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to study the effects of fin conductivity ratio, Darcy number, and Rayleigh number on the average Nusselt number for fins made of porous material when attached to the inner cylinder of the annulus between two concentric cylinders. The paper also aims to compare the results with those obtained using solid fins over a range of Rayleigh numbers.

Design/methodology/approach

The Darcy‐Brinkman equations were used to model the fluid flow inside the porous media and the Boussinesq approximation was used to model the buoyancy effect. The energy equation is also solved to find the temperature distribution in the domain of interest. The model equations are solved numerically using a finite volume code.

Findings

Porous fins provided higher heat transfer rates than solid fins for similar configurations. This enhancement in heat transfer reached 75 per cent at Ra=5 × 104 and Da=2.5 × 10−2. It is also found that unlike solid fins the rate of heat transfer from the cylinder equipped with porous fins decreases with increasing the fin inclination angle.

Research limitations/implications

The range of the Rayleigh number considered in this research covers only the laminar regime. The research does not cover turbulent flows. In addition to that, the local thermal equilibrium assumption is used.

Practical implications

This work can help designers in selecting the proper material properties and operating conditions in designing porous fins to enhance the heat transfer in the annulus between two horizontal concentric cylinders under natural convection condition.

Originality/value

This work has not been done before and it can initiate additional research projects as looking at the performance of porous fins under other conditions and configurations (e.g. turbulent conditions).

Keywords

Citation

Kiwan, S. and Zeitoun, O. (2008), "Natural convection in a horizontal cylindrical annulus using porous fins", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 618-634. https://doi.org/10.1108/09615530810879747

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited