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ERIC Number: EJ844005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
The Role of the Velocity Gradient in Laminar Convective Heat Transfer through a Tube with a Uniform Wall Heat Flux
Wang, Liang-Bi; Zhang, Qiang; Li, Xiao-Xia
European Journal of Physics, v30 n4 p823-833 Jul 2009
This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of convective heat transfer. For this purpose, the reason why thermal diffusivity should be placed before the Laplacian operator of the heat flux, and the role of the velocity gradient in convective heat transfer are analysed. The background to these analyses is that, when the energy conservation equation of convective heat transfer is used to explain convective heat transfer there are two points that are difficult for teachers to explain and for undergraduates to understand: thermal diffusivity is placed before the Laplacian operator of temperature; on the wall surface (the fluid side) the velocity is zero, a diffusion equation of temperature is gained from energy conservation equation, however, temperature cannot be transported. Consequently, the real physical meaning of thermal diffusivity is not clearly reflected in the energy conservation equation, and whether heat transfer occurs through a diffusion process or a convection process on the wall surface is not clear. Through a simple convective heat transfer case: laminar convective heat transfer in a tube with a uniform wall heat flux on the tube wall, this paper explains these points more clearly. The results declare that it is easier for teachers to explain and for undergraduates to understand these points when a description of heat transfer in terms of the heat flux is used. In this description, thermal diffusivity is placed before the Laplacian operator of the heat flux; the role of the velocity gradient in convective heat transfer appears, on the wall surface, the fact whether heat transfer occurs through a diffusion process or a convection process can be explained and understood easily. The results are not only essential for teachers to improve the efficiency of university-level physics education regarding heat transfer, but they also enrich the theories for understanding heat transfer. (Contains 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English