In this paper, a numerical study of the role of interfacial heat transfer in the CFD modeling of forced convection ice melting is presented. Two different approaches are typically used in the simulation of ice melting phenomena. In the first approach, a single phase approximation is used, where ice and water phases are assumed to be in local thermodynamic equilibrium. A single temperature field is solved for the two components and phase change is assumed to occur very rapidly. In this approach, the heat transfer between ice and water is assumed infinite and ice and water mass fractions are determined from the ice-water phase diagram. In the second approach, a multiphase non-equilibrium approach is used where distinct velocity and temperature fields are solved for ice and water. The inherent assumption in the multiphase approach is that the rate of melting is not infinite and is controlled by the ice-water interface heat transfer coefficient. A correct estimation of the interfacial heat transfer coefficient is crucial in setting up a proper model for ice melting. A correlation for the interfacial heat transfer coefficient is derived numerically in this paper as a function of local turbulence intensity. It is shown that the equilibrium methodology is essentially a limiting form of the non-equilibrium approach and one could recover the equilibrium approach results by making the interfacial heat transfer coefficient large, i.e. infinite, in the multiphase simulation.

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