Conference Dates

June 22-27, 2014


The current study employs CFD to study the forced air cooling of a pyramid shaped porous foam absorber. Herein, a three by three (3×3) array of porous foam absorbers heated with an external heat flux is modeled using the differential equations governing heat and fluid flow through porous media based on the Brinkman-Darcy flow equations and an effective thermal conductivity to account for the porous medium. The numerical simulations are carried out using the COMSOL commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Finite Element based software package. The primary finding of our study is that the more porous the foam absorber media is, the more dependent the effective thermal conductivity is on the thermal conductivity of the fluid used for cooling. If the fluid is air, which has a very low thermal conductivity, the effective thermal conductivity is decreased as the porosity increases, thus diminishing removal of heat from the foam array via the cooling air stream. Based on the parametric study, the best case operating conditions which may allow the pyramidal foam absorber to stay within the max allowable temperature are as follows: porosity = 0.472, inlet air cooling velocity = 50 m/s.