Numerical study is performed on the effect of thermal conductivity of porous media (k) on the Nusselt number (Nu) and performance evaluation criteria (PEC) of a tube. Two-dimensional axisymmetric forced laminar and fully developed flow is assumed. Porous medium partially inserted in the core of a tube is investigated under varied Darcy number (Da), i.e., 10−6Da ≤ 10−2. The range of Re number used is 100 to 2000 and the conductivity of porous medium is 1.4 to 202.4 W/(m.K) with air as the working fluid. The momentum equations are used to describe the fluid flow in the clear region. The Darcy-Forchheimer-Brinkman model is adopted for the fluid transport in the porous region. The mathematical model for energy transport is based on the one equation model which assumes a local thermal equilibrium between the fluid and the solid phases. Results are different from the conventional thoughts that porous media of higher thermal conductivity can enhance the performance (PEC) of a tube. Due to partial porous media insertion, the upstream parabolic velocity profile is destroyed and the flow is redistributed to create a new fully develop velocity profile downstream. The length of this flow redistribution to a new developed laminar flow depends on the Da number and the hydrodynamic developing length increases with increasing Da number. Moreover, the temperature profile is also readjusted within the tube. The Nu and PEC numbers have a nonlinear trend with varying k. At very low Da number and at a lower k, the Nu number decreases with increasing Re number while at higher k, the Nu number first increases to reach its peak value and then decreases. At higher Re number, the results are independent of k. However, at a higher Da number, the Nu and PEC numbers significantly increases at low Re number while slightly increases at higher Re number. Hence, the change in Nu and PEC numbers neither increases monotonically with k, nor with Re number. Investigation of PEC number shows that at very low Da number (Da = 10−6), inserting porous media of a low k is effective at low Re number (Re ≤ 500) while at high Re number, using porous material is not effective for the overall performance of a tube. However, at a relatively higher Da number (Da = 10−2), high k can be effective at higher Re number. Moreover, it is found that the results are not very sensitive to the inertia term at lower Da number.

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