Finite Element Approximation to Heat Transfer Through Construction Glass Blocksby Hani G. Melhem, Univ of Pittsburg, Pittsburg, United States,
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the heat transfer through combined solid and fluid media, taking into account the interaction between the solid and the fluid. The main example studied is the glass block often used in architectural design for security, privacy, or aesthetic reasons. The 4-inch thick block filled with air is usually considered a good thermal insulator. However, heat is transferred through the glass and it is natural to expect that reducing the thickness of the block transverse walls would decrease the heat loss. This case resembles the often studied 'Natural Convection in a Cavity' problem. Since most investigators in this area treat the fluid (air) as incompressible and ignore the thickness of the wall (glass), it was decided to modify an existing finite element code to include the Navier-Stokes equation. Severe numerical problems occurred when using realistic parameter values that gave a Rayleigh of number between 106 and 107. It has been possible however to obtain limited results using a variety of solution options and time stepping criteria.
Subject Headings: Heat transfer | Glass | Finite element method | Solid mechanics | Thickness | Walls | Navier-Stokes equations | Architecture
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