Trickle bed chemical reactors and equipment used to cool horticultural produce usually involve three phase porous media. The fluid dynamics and heat transfer processes that occur in such equipment are generally quantified by means of empirical relationships between dimensionless groups. The research reported in this paper is motivated by the possibility of using detailed numerical simulations of the phenomena that occur in beds of irrigated porous media to obviate the need for empirical correlations. Numerical predictions are obtained using a CFD code (FLUENT) for 2-D configurations of three cylinders. Local and mean heat transfer coefficients around these non-contacting horizontal cylinders are calculated numerically. The present results compare well with those available in the literature. The numerical results provide an insight into the cooling mechanisms within beds of unsaturated porous media.

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