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Constructal design of T-shaped cavity for several convective fluxes imposed at the cavity surfaces


The purpose here is to investigate, by means of the constructal principle, the influence of the convective heat transfer flux at the cavity surfaces over the optimal geometry of a T-shaped cavity that intrudes into a solid conducting wall. The cavity is cooled by a steady stream of convection while the solid generates heat uniformly and it is insulated on the external perimeter. The convective heat flux is imposed as a boundary condition of the cavity surfaces and the geometric optimization is achieved for several values of parameter a = (2hA1/2/k)1/2. The structure of the T-shaped cavity has four degrees of freedom: L0/L1 (ratio between the lengths of the stem and bifurcated branches), H1/L1 (ratio between the thickness and length of the bifurcated branches), H0/L0 (ratio between the thickness and length of the stem), and H/L (ratio between the height and length of the conducting solid wall) and one restriction, the ratio between the cavity volume and solid volume (φ). The purpose of the numerical investigation is to minimize the maximal dimensionless excess of temperature between the solid and the cavity. The simulations were performed for fixed values of H/L = 1.0 and φ = 0.1. Even for the first and second levels of optimization, (L1/L0) ○○ and (H0/L0), the results revealed that there is no universal shape that optimizes the cavity geometry for every imposed value of a. The T-shaped cavity geometry adapts to the variation of the convective heat flux imposed at the cavity surfaces, i.e., the system flows and morphs with the imposed conditions so that its currents flow more and more easily. The three times optimal shape for lower ratios of a is achieved when the cavity has a higher penetration into the solid domain and for a thinner stem. As the magnitude of a increases, the bifurcated branch displaces toward the center of the solid domain and the number of highest temperature points also increases, i.e., the distribution of temperature field is improved according to the constructal principle of optimal distribution of imperfections.

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Correspondence to G. Lorenzini.

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Lorenzini, G., Biserni, C., Link, F.B. et al. Constructal design of T-shaped cavity for several convective fluxes imposed at the cavity surfaces. J. Engin. Thermophys. 22, 309–321 (2013).

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  • Heat Mass Transfer
  • Cavity Surface
  • Constructal Theory
  • Geometric Optimization