Flow and Heat Transfer Characteristics of an Empty Refrigerated Container

  • Ersin AlptekinEmail author
  • Mehmet Akif Ezan
  • Nuri Kayansayan


To preserve the quality and the shelf life of perishable foods, it is essential to analyze the airflow distribution inside a refrigerated truck for maintaining homogeneous temperature throughout. This study is an initiation of such analysis, and air distribution patterns of ceiling-slot ventilated enclosure are numerically investigated for three different geometries. Numerical analysis is carried out by using ANSYS-FLUENT software which is based on control volume approach. In the analysis, the container’s cross-sectional area is kept constant. However, by changing the container length as 6 m, 8 m, and 13.3 m, the aspect ratio of the container is varied accordingly. The air velocity at the slot exit is varied in such a way that Reynolds number of the discharge flow covers the range between 20 and 1.23 × 105.

A three-dimensional solution domain is considered in the analysis and is identified by a total number of 2.5 × 106 meshes. The Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) is applied in solving turbulent Navier–Stokes equations at each computational node. The validity of the present computational method is checked by generating and comparing the results with available work in literature. The flow distribution patterns of empty container indicate that there exist circulation zones close to the surface at the opposite of air discharged slot. In fact, two different vortices at two perpendicular planes coexist. The location of these circulation zones does not change with the discharge flow rate, but the circulation intensity increases as the flow rate increases. It is determined that variation of the container aspect ratio affects the flow behavior. For the case of container length at 13.3 m, the flow at the upper surface separates at a distance of 11.5 m from the air injection plane.


Refrigerated vehicle Airflow distribution Food transportation Cold chain 



This research is supported by Republic of Turkey Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology under the grant number: 01114.STZ.2011-2 and Dokuz Eylül University Scientific Research Foundation Grant BAP-Project number: 2013.KB.FEN.9.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ersin Alptekin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mehmet Akif Ezan
    • 1
  • Nuri Kayansayan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringDokuz Eylül UniversityIzmirTurkey

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