Abstract

Transport processes associated with melting of an electrically conducting Phase Change Material (PCM), placed inside a rectangular enclosure, under low-gravity environment, and in the presence of a magnetic field is simulated numerically. Electromagnetic forces damp the natural convection as well as the flow induced by sedimentation and/or floatation, and thereby simulating the low gravity environment of outer space. Computational experiments are conducted for both side-wall heating and top-wall heating under horizontal magnetic field. The governing equations are discretized using a control-volume-based finite difference scheme. Numerical solutions are obtained for true low-gravity environment as well as for the simulated-low-gravity conditions resulted by the presence of a horizontal magnetic field. The effects of magnetic field on the natural convection, solid phase floatation/sedimentation, liquid-solid interface location, solid melting rate, and flow patterns are investigated. It is found that the melting under low-gravity environment can reasonably be simulated on earth via applying a strong horizontal magnetic field. However, the flow patterns obtained for the true low-gravity cases are not similar to the corresponding cases solved for the simulated-low-gravity environment.

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