In this work, a process of unsteady forced convection in a packed bed of spheres was experimentally and computationally analyzed. A device was designed and constructed in order to run the experiments in packed beds. It was used to carry out an experimental run in a packing of ten aluminum spheres, which tube-to-particle diameter ratio was 2,4. Methane-air combustion products were kept flowing into the packed bed at constant inlet conditions, 2,8 m/s and 369°C. Packed spheres were heated from 25°C to gases temperature. While heating, temperature of spheres, tube wall and gases at different positions were measured to follow unsteady process. On the other hand, computational simulation was carried out by modeling the ten-spheres packing under the same flow conditions of the experimental run. Physical properties of gases were kept constant and fluid flow profile was solved before heating process. Results of unsteady temperature variation in different positions showed good agreement with the experimental measures. This result allowed inferring that flow field calculations were a satisfactory representation of the actual flow field, since temperature field variation depends strongly upon flow field. In conclusion, it was found that the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation is an accurate tool to analyze unsteady forced convection in packed beds. The device designed is a flexible and powerful tool to measure unsteady forced convection in packed beds. The behavior of the gas-to-solid heat transfer coefficient is a fundamental question to solve, and CFD supported on experimental measures is the way to solve it.

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