# Chemical Engineering 6453

Heat Transfer
Prof. Geoff Silcox
Spring 2005
Solution to Homework Assignment 3
Due Wednesday, 2 February, by 17:00.

Problem 1
In class on Monday, 24 J anuary, we estimated the time scale of an infinite plate
of thickness 2L as

( )
2
2
2
L Bi
Bi
τ
α
+
=

where Bi =hL/k and α is the thermal diffusivity, k/ρc. Test the validity of this
approximation using a fully implicit, node-centered, numerical solution to the
following equations.

( )
( )
( )
( )
2
2
,0
0,
0
,
,
i
T T
t x
T x T
T t
x
T L t
k h T L t T
x
α

∂ ∂
=
∂ ∂
=

=

⎡ ⎤ − = −
⎣ ⎦

Perform your calculations for Bi =0.01, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 10, 100, 1000. In each
case, use the amount of energy conducted to the plate (W/m
2
) as the function
whose maximum slope you are estimating in order to obtain the time scale via

max min
max
Q Q
dQ
dt
τ

=

Include a summary of all calculations and a listing of your MATLAB code with
your solution, with sample output.

Solution: Numerical calculations performed with the m-file, tplate.m, at Bi =0.01,
1, and 1000, verify the validity of the first approach for all Bi. The second
approach begins to fail when Bi is much greater than 1. In fact, for Bi =1000, the
second approach gives a time scale of about 3 s when the actual value is 50 s.
The reasons for this are clearly visible in the plot below that shows the fractional
heat loss as a function of Fo for the numerical solution (green) and the one-term
analytical solution. There are clearly multiple time scales for the green function -
the initial slope is extremely steep and this agrees with the time scale of 3 s.

0 0.5 1 1.5
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Heat loss profile (green-num, red-one-term)
Fourier number
F
r
a
c
t
i
o
n
a
l

h
e
a
t

l
o
s
s

Problem 2
Read the article by Yovanovich. It is on electronic reserve in the library. Use the
code developed in Problem 1 to critically evaluate the one term approximation for
the flat plat that he develops. The heart of that approximation is Equation 41 and
the critical Fourier numbers, Fo
c
, given in the introduction. The value of Fo
c
that
he reports for the infinite plate is 0.24. Is that value reasonable? What is the
error involved in using the one-term approximation when Fo
c
=0.24?

Solution: The value of Fo
c
=0.24 is consistent with the figure above with Bi >>1,
but I am not sure the two significant figures are justified. At Bi =1, Fo
c
=0.2 is
still appropriate. At Bi =0.01, Fo
c
is actually about 2, but at these conditions you
would want to use the lumped analysis anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.