# Thermal boundary layer

Numerical simulations Thermal boundary layer

The thermal study is very important for the further evaporation in the container which represents the main work of this BEI.

We suppose that the incident air flow is at a uniform temperature, and that the surface is maintained in a temperature Tp also uniform but different from the air temperature T0.

a- Temperature field

We consider now the temperature equations while simulating the problem via OpenFoam. For this, we add the equations in the source code of our own solver as we have already explained.

The following figure shows the evolution of the thermal boundary layer over the flat plate. Figure:  the thermal boundary layer over the flat plate

• By exploring the temperature field perpendicularly to the plate,  we shall observe a progressive variation of Tp to the air temperature T0; in fact this variation is at first fast then it becomes slower and slower as we penetrate into the incident air flow.
• The region in which T varies in a significant way corresponds the the thermal boundary layer. It is noticeable that the thermal boundary layer gets thicker when we go away from the leading edge: it has the same altitude as the dynamic boundary layer.
• At the origin, the temperature profile is uniform, then the influence of Tp appears gradually in the fluid. As a consequence, a temperature gradient emerged as well as a heat flux directed from the plate towards the fluid.

So, as well as the dynamic boundary layer is the expression of momentum diffusion, the thermal boundary layer results from the thermal diffusion in the fluid in movement.

Temperature profile

In the figure below we plot the temperature profile versus the altitude above the plate at x= 0.9 cm. Figure:  the temperature profile versus the altitude above the plate at x= 0.9 cm

b- Boundary layer thickness

The aim of this part is to estimate the thermal boundary layer thickness values over the flat plate.

The region in which T varies in a significant way corresponds the the thermal boundary layer. However this definition is too vague. The problem was moreover the same with the dynamic boundary layer, and will be approached on the same spirit, namely a conventional definition of the thermal boundary layer thickness.

We define this thickness as following  $$\frac{T(x,\delta_T(x)) - T_p (x)}{T_0 - T_p (x)}= 0.99$$ .

Blasius model for a flat plate Source:http://help.solidworks.com/2013/french/SolidWorks/cworks/c_Convection_Heat_Coefficient.htm?format=P

The Blasius solution estimates the thermal thickness in such case as follows:

$$\frac {\delta_T}{x} = 4.64 \sqrt {\frac{a}{U_0 x}}$$ where a is the thermal diffusivity.

c- Comparison

We  compare now the numerical boundary layer thickness with the Blasius solution.

The following figure shows the thermal thickness profile versus Blasius solution: Figure: the thermal thickness profiles

As is the case of dynamic boundary layer, the thermal boundary layer thickness has the same profile as the Blasius solution.

d- Conclusion:

The results correspond perfectly to Blasius solution. Therefore, the study of the boundary layer has enabled us to validate our model in order to use it in the evaporation study of the fuel container.