A numerical study is performed to analyze steady laminar forced convection in a channel filled with a fluid-saturated porous medium and containing discrete heat sources on the bottom wall. Hydrodynamic and heat transfer results are reported for two configurations: (1) a fully porous channel, and (2) a partially porous channel, which contains porous layers above the heat sources and is nonporous elsewhere. The flow in the porous medium is modeled using the Brinkman-Forchheimer extended Darcy model. Heat transfer rates and pressure drop are evaluated for wide ranges of Darcy and Reynolds numbers. Detailed results of the evolution of the hydrodynamic and thermal boundary layers are also provided. The results indicate that as the Darcy number decreases, a significant increase in heat transfer is obtained, especially at the leading edge of each heat source. For fixed Reynolds number, the length-averaged Nusselt number reaches an asymptotic value in the Darcian regime. In the partially porous channel, it is found that when the width of the heat source and the spacing between the porous layers are of the same magnitude as the channel height, the heat transfer enhancement is almost the same as in the fully porous channel while the pressure drop is significantly lower. These results suggest that the partially porous channel configuration is a potentially attractive heat transfer augmentation technique for electronic equipment cooling, an end that motivated this study.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.