Experimental and numerical investigation of heat and mass transfer due to pulse combustor jet impingement
Psimas, Michael J.
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Under certain circumstances pulse combustors have been shown to improve both heat transfer and drying rate when compared to steady flow impingement. Despite this potential, there have been few investigations into the use of pulse combustor driven impingement jets for industrial drying applications. The research presented here utilized experimental and numerical techniques to study the heat transfer characteristics of these types of oscillating jets when impinging on solid surfaces and the heat and mass transfer when drying porous media. The numerical methods were extensively validated using laboratory heat flux and drying data, as well as correlations from literature. As a result, the numerical techniques and methods that were developed and employed in this work were found to be well suited for the current application. It was found that the pulsating flows yielded elevated heat and mass transfer compared to similar steady flow jets. However, the numerical simulations were used to analyze not just the heat flux or drying, but also the details of the fluid flow in the impingement zone that resulted in said heat and mass transport. It was found that the key mechanisms of the enhanced transfer were the vortices produced by the oscillating flow. The characteristics of these vortices such as the size, strength, location, duration, and temperature, determined the extent of the improvement. The effects of five parameters were studied: the velocity amplitude ratio, oscillation frequency, the time-averaged bulk fluid velocity at the tailpipe exit, the hydraulic diameter of the tailpipe, and the impingement surface velocity. Analysis of the resulting fluid flow revealed three distinct flow types as characterized by the vortices in the impingement zone, each with unique heat transfer characteristics. These flow types were: a single strong vortex that dissipated before the start of the next oscillation cycle, a single persistent vortex that remained relatively strong at the end of the cycle, and a strong primary vortex coupled with a short-lived, weaker secondary vortex. It was found that the range over which each flow type was observed could be classified into distinct flow regimes. The secondary vortex and persistent vortex regimes were found to enhance heat transfer. Subsequently, transition criteria dividing these regimes were formed based on dimensionless parameters. The critical dimensionless parameters appeared to be the Strouhal number, a modified Strouhal number, the Reynolds number, the velocity amplitude ratio, and the H/Dh ratio. Further study would be required to determine if these parameters offer similar significance for other configurations.