A refrigerated display cabinet is a device often used to preserve the products contained inside while enabling the costumer to have a view to the products stored. The main objective of this work was to investigate, using the ANSYS Fluent software, the airflow in a horizontal closed refrigerated display cabinet to better understand the fluid flow behavior in its interior. The turbulent airflow and non-isothermal heat transfer process were computed in a 2D transient state mathematical model where the basic equations governing the transport phenomena inside of the refrigerated display cabinet were solved. Regarding the turbulence model, this was modeled with the three-equation model since it can address the boundary-layer transition regions within the cabinet. After a complete understanding of the fluid flow behavior inside the cabinet, the influence of the door opening was analyzed.

Results of the CFD simulations allowed to achieve a detailed mapping of the cooling process inside the equipment. Generally, stabilizing the interior temperature for an empty cabinet is rapidly achieved with minimal heat losses. The inclusion of products that are at a higher temperature than the cooling air creates a zone of high thermal inertia and makes the temperature stabilization a longer process. Even though specific equipment is used, the results provide standard information on the phenomena occurring inside the cabinet and contribute to the industry and academic society to understand and improve industrial products and obtain more information that is very reduced in the literature.

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