Thermodynamics analyses of porous microchannels with asymmetric thick walls and exothermicity: An entropic model of micro-reactors

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohsen Torabi

School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom

Alexander Elliott

School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom

N.K. Karimi

School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036802 History: Received September 13, 2016; Revised April 11, 2017


This paper presents a study of the thermal characteristics and entropy generation of a porous microchannel with thick walls featuring uneven thicknesses. The system accommodates a fully developed flow while the solid and fluid phases can include internal heat sources. Two sets of asymmetric boundary conditions are considered. The first includes constant temperatures at the surface of the outer walls, with the lower wall experiencing a higher temperature than the upper wall. The second case imposes a constant heat flux on the lower wall and a convection boundary condition on the upper wall. These set thermal models for micro-reactors featuring highly exothermic or endothermic reactions such as those encountered in fuel reforming processes. The porous system is considered to be under local thermal non-equilibrium (LTNE) condition. Analytical solutions are, primarily, developed for the temperature and local entropy fields and then are extended to the total entropy generation within the system. A parametric study is, subsequently, conducted. It is shown that the ratio of the solid to fluid effective thermal conductivity ratio and the internal heat sources are the most influential parameters in the thermal and entropic behaviours of the system. In particular, the results demonstrate that the internal heat sources can affect the entropy generation in a non-monotonic way and, that the variation of the total entropy with internal heat sources may include extremum points. It is, further, shown that the asymmetric nature of the problem has a pronounced effect on the local generation of entropy.

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