# Heat transfer out of cone

1. Feb 18, 2013

### desktophustler

Have a fluid flow in a cylindrical pipe with insulation around it. The insulation is in the shape of a truncated cone. It starts at a thickness with a radius only slightly thicker than the pipe and the radius increases as you move along the pipe. The radius increases at a constant rate.

The goal is to figure out the outer wall temperatures of the cone if we know the bulk fluid temp inside. Things I considered were that a generic 2D model using cylindrical cords could be used and the outer surface area and changing radius could be accounted for, but this would assume that the heat only flows outward radially. This is techinally incorrect as the heat would flow through the path of least resistance (i.e. at an angle away from the pipe to. heat won't travel through 5 inches of insulation when it can go through 3)

So to go around this situation, I figured I'd have to use a 3D model and solve numerically. However, programming isn't my forte. Any ideas? Generally, this appears to be a good MatLab problem. Is this somthing that I could to in VBA? If so, how?

The length of cone is very short compared to the overall process, so cooling of the fluid inside may be able to be neglected. Go ahead and assume that it is at a constant bulk temp

2. Feb 18, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

A 2D model is sufficient, if the system has a symmetry axis along the pipe. If the angle between the outer insulation layer and the pipe is small, a 1D simulation (with an analytic solution) might work.

An easy implementation would be a large grid, with simple equations how temperature gets updated in each time step. Wait until the system reaches its equilibrium.

3. Feb 18, 2013

### desktophustler

A 2D model couldn't simultaneously take into account the curvature of the cone (e.g. Time marching a flat grid to steady state) and the fact that heat will flow in the path of least resistance (e.g. In the of just using cylindrical cords)

4. Feb 19, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Sure it can. You have to convert your equations to cylindrical coordinates, so you get a 2D-simulation where the equations are modified a bit. But the temperature does not depend on the angle (and there is no flow along this direction), so you can restrict the analysis to the (z,r)-plane.

5. Feb 19, 2013

### AlephZero

MFB is correct. A "2D" model taking a slice in the radial and axial directions, and including the fact that the "thickness" varies with radius, will give the correct solution.

On the other hand, often in heat transfer problems the thermal constants and especially the boundary conditions are not known very accurately. It's worth considering whether the errors caused heat flowing through the "wrong thickness" of material are sigmificant compared with other sources of error. If the cone has a shallow angle, they may not be.

Writing your own code to solve this is not difficult, but it's probably not an efficient way to use your time. This is a trivial problem to mdoel with a finite element code. We don't know if you have access to a student version of Ansys, etc. If not, Google will find plenty of free open source and shareware FE codes - but I don't have any experience of using them for thermal problems, so I can't recoomend any particular code.

6. Feb 19, 2013

### desktophustler

The rise is 7"/6".

I think we're on the same page here in understanding that a "2D" model done in slices to account for the changing thickness is truly just a series of 1D models. Or are we thining about different ways to approach this?

See attached for the 2 heat flow lanes. One shows what the model would show and the other something a little more realistic (slightly lol)

I agree with you that a model of this type would work if the angle was shallow, but I'd rather the answer just be as accurate as possible since I couldn't begin to quantify the severity of the errors in any of the assumptions (if I could I would know the correct answer then)

I'm probably going with some software package (tends to make ppl believe your answer a little more). Looks like a free trial of solidworks would get the job done.

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7. Feb 19, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

No, not slices! The 2D-plane is the same as in your sketch.

8. Feb 19, 2013

### desktophustler

The 2D plane can account for the fact that the heat won't flow only perpendilcar to the inner pipe. True. But it doesn't account for the curvature of the cone. It assumes that the z-direction can be neglected b/c the the length in the z-direction is very long. See pic attached

Unless there is some way to account for curvature in 2D, the best bet would to model it using software. Mainly b/c ppl like pretty pictures and less assumptions.

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9. Feb 19, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

The formulas for the individual elements do that. The problem is similar to this or this one (but with easier boundary conditions).

No, it does not.

10. Feb 19, 2013

### AlephZero

You are right that the "2D" model needs to "know" it is axisymmetric about the X axis, but that should be a standard option if your analysis software can deal with rotating machinery for eaxmple.

Therei is no problem including that correctly in a finite element or finite different model.

But if your software doesn't have an option to analyse an axisymmetric model (i.e. it can only handle a "slab" of material of constant thickness as in our drawing) the answers will be wrong, of course.

11. Feb 19, 2013

### desktophustler

So, in a nutshell, correct me if I'm wrong. There is no way a 2D time-marching model can definitely account for the curvature of the cone.

See attached

If incorrect explain why.

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12. Feb 19, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Fine: You are wrong. See all previous posts for explanations.

13. Feb 19, 2013

### desktophustler

In 200 words or less explain how the the grid in the last attached picture can both simulate a object that is long in the z-direction and round.

If not, you sir are wrong.

14. Feb 19, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

The formulas how grid cells are influenced by their surrounding cells depend on the setup you want to simulate.

111 characters.

That does not depend on the text length.

With more than 200 words, but in all details, as quote from another forum (the bottom and that green thing were fixed in the setup):

15. Feb 19, 2013

### AlephZero

The only change between 2D plane and 2D axysymmetric heat transfer is inserting "r" in a few places in the differential equation. The change to the finite element or finite different formulation is equally trivial. For example see http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...r axisymmetric differential equations&f=false - but you will have to buy the book to get the full story.

If you think this is "wrong", I recommend you never fly with a cmmercial airline, because every jet engine manufacturer has been doing heat transfer calculations on turbine disks this way for the past 40 or 50 years.

16. Feb 20, 2013

### desktophustler

Nice. I like being wrong. Honestly I don't really care about the transient problem.

As a final check what would be wrong with using that grid we were discussing. An energy balance in and out of any node would yield:

k(Δy)(T1-Tn)/Δx + 2*pi*k*(T2-Tn)/ln((Rn+Δy)/Rn) + k(Δy)(T3-Tn)/Δx + 2*pi*k*(T4-Tn)/ln(Rn/(Rn-Δy)) = 0

referencing the nodes below, moving from 2 to 4 would be equivalent to moving outward from the cone

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17. Feb 20, 2013

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
What boundary conditions are you using for the exterior surface?

18. Feb 20, 2013

### desktophustler

Convective eventually.

If any wants to critique anything though, they can use constant wall temps just to dumb down the problem.

19. Feb 20, 2013

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Constant wall temperature? Is that the outer surface of your pipe, or the wall the outer surface (your cone) can see? If so how does that interact with the surface of your pipe?

20. Feb 20, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

I'm a bit surprised by the factors with ln, and a linear expansion gives the same for both nodes in y-direction, where they should be different.