Heat Transfer Blog Posts

Analyzing Electrical and Thermal Conductance in a Contact Switch

Alexandra Foley | July 29, 2013

A contact switch is used to regulate whether or not an electrical current is passing from a power source and into an electrical device. These switches are found in many types of equipment and they are used to control, for example, the power output from a wall socket into a device when it is plugged in; the currents passing across the circuit board of a computer; or the electricity powering a light bulb when the switch is flipped on. Because of their […]

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Alexandra Foley | July 10, 2013

The flow of fluid through a porous medium is usually described by Darcy’s Law. However, what if you wanted to look at a combination of fluid flow, heat transfer, and mass transport in a porous medium? Instead of using Darcy’s Law, which calculates an average linear velocity for fluid flow in porous media, the Navier-Stokes equations would be necessary in order to obtain accurate results. In addition, heat convection and conduction, as well as mass transport would need to be […]

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Laura Bowen | June 26, 2013

It’s not always obvious what a major role temperature control plays in modern technology, as the interchange happens in the background. Plate heat exchangers, made up of successions of metal plates and various coiled pipes, regulate and manipulate temperature, and they get the job done quickly — thanks to an active surface that is large with respect to their volume.

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Andrew Griesmer | June 24, 2013

Sharp is a powerhouse in the electronics industry, involved in televisions, liquid crystal displays, LED lighting systems, solar cells, multi-function business machines, and many other electronics-based products. One of a global network of Sharp R&D laboratories, Sharp Laboratories of Europe (located in Oxford, England), has been busy researching and developing LED lighting, display technology, microfluidic lab-on-a-chip, and energy systems for incorporation into Sharp’s products.

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Laura Bowen | June 18, 2013

If you roast a turkey for dinner and you need to check the temperature, the technology exists to find it. But what happens if the temperature is so hot that a consumer-grade thermometer, or any man-made device, really, would instantly melt and be destroyed? This might not be a common occurrence in your kitchen, but it is a real concern in blast furnaces, where temperatures can reach close to 1,500°C. Simply guessing is far from safe. Luckily, by simulating with […]

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Alexandra Foley | June 10, 2013

When I was little, I used to love spending the night at my grandparents’ house, where I was allowed to watch TV, stay up late, and in the morning, help my grandmother make pancakes. The hardest part was always waiting for her old, slow electric burner to heat up — to my six-year-old self, it seemed to take hours for the burner to become hot enough after we’d finished mixing the batter. Luckily for me, and for other impatient chefs […]

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Fanny Littmarck | May 1, 2013

Given the title of this blog post you might expect it to be about global warming, and I won’t blame you for it; greenhouse effect has become another popular term used when debating climate change. However, its original and literal meaning refers to a very different process, in particular when it comes to heat retention. Here we will describe the effect of heating up an actual greenhouse and suggest steps for optimizing its design.

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Fanny Littmarck | April 22, 2013

Chemical reaction fluids can be cooled using glass flanges. The reaction fluid is passed through the flange and the air surrounding the flange then serves as the coolant. Engineers looking to optimize the cooling performance of such flanges can look to simulation for help.

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Daniel Smith | March 27, 2013

In a previous blog entry I discussed some of the exotic properties of graphene. The fact that graphene consists of a single layer of atoms means the aspect ratio of any graphene-based structure may be very high. High aspect geometries present their own array of modeling challenges.

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Valerio Marra | March 26, 2013

A lot of effort is put into inventing or improving existing technologies used to cool buildings, food, or any goods that need to be stored at a definite temperature. The reason is simple: adopting more efficient designs will result in achieving the same goal while consuming less energy. Both our balance sheet and the environment will benefit from these solutions. Here we will explore modeling temperature of a passive cooling design using a wine cellar as an example.

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Fanny Littmarck | February 27, 2013

Cars need brakes for obvious reasons, and you don’t want these to fail. Brake failure can be caused by many things, one of which is the overheating of the brake’s disc. As I’ve said before, no engineer wants to design a product that fails, which is also true in the case of brake-disc design. Let’s study a scenario of a car in panic brake mode, and find out how hot the brake discs and pads get as well as how […]

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