This paper presents an experimental investigation on the effects of a solid impermeable boundary and variable porosity on forced convection in porous media. Emphasis is placed on the channeling effects on heat transfer in packed beds. The local volume-averaging technique is used to establish the governing equations and a numerical scheme is developed which incorporates the boundary and variable porosity effects on heat transfer. The experimental results for the heat flux at the boundary are presented as a function of the pertinent variables in a packed bed. The Nusselt number is found to increase almost linearly with an increase in the Reynolds number based on the pore diameter. The experimental results are found to be in good agreement with the theoretical results which account for the variable porosity effects. A comparison between the numerical and the experimental results demonstrates the importance of boundary and variable porosity effects on heat transfer in variable porosity media.

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