Thermal Behavior of Fluid Saturated Porous Media with Phase Changes
In earlier work, Gomaa and Somerton (1) observed that the apparent thermal conductivity of partially liquid saturated sand can be several times larger than for fully liquid saturated sand. Figure 1 shows this effect. The heat pipe concept was introduced to explain this phenomenon. In Figure 2, a cylindrical core sample saturated with water is subjected to two different temperatures, one above the boiling temperature and the other below. If a small amount of liquid is displaced from the system by vapor generated near the hot surface, the vapor will then travel towards the cold surface by a vapor pressure gradient and will condense there. The water is brought into the vapor zone by capillary force due to a saturation gradient. Thus, in addition to heat conduction, a large amount of thermal energy is transported by virtue of latent heat exchange.
KeywordsHeat Flux Porous Medium Capillary Pressure Heat Pipe Liquid Saturation
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