Simcenter FLOEFD Simulate Heat Exchangers: Using Porous Media Models

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Simulating heat exchangers in engineering can be tough because their complex shapes require a lot of computer power and time to model in detail. To make this easier, engineers can use a simpler method called the heat sink model. This method allows for accurate simulations without needing detailed modeling.



The  Porous Media approach is especially useful when detailed models are too costly due to the high number of mesh cells needed. Porous media models provide another way to simulate heat exchangers when detailed fluid flow simulations are not possible. In this method, the heat exchanger is simplified and treated as a porous medium. Engineers set parameters like porosity and heat transfer coefficients to mimic the heat exchange process. This makes it possible to model the thermal effects of the heat exchanger within a larger system efficiently.


To set up the porous media heat exchanger, go to the user-defined porous media settings and choose the heat sink model. Be sure to create a table for the heat removed by gas. This information might not always be available from all manufacturers, so you might need to do some extra work to find it. Often, practical use of these methods involves challenges related to the availability and accuracy of supplier data. Important parameters like "heat removed vs mass flow rate" are crucial for accurate simulations but may not always be readily available. Engineers might need to calculate or estimate these parameters using available data or conduct additional simulations to ensure their models are accurate.

Figure 1: Setting up the heat sink model**


Additionally, after selecting "Calculate output parameters," you can get:

- Effective thermal conductivity (lk) and lm =  lk/(1-e), where e is porosity, and lm is the conductivity of the porous matrix.

- Volumetric heat exchange coefficient (αν) as a function of mass flow rate.

Figure 2: Output parameters

KB Article ID# KB000133261_EN_US



Associated Components

Simcenter FLOEFD for Creo