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Zhao and Kurzweg

The Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure-Linked Equations (SIMPLE) algorithm for heat
transfer and fluid flow problems is extended to time-periodic situations. A vectorized line
group method for solving the system of associated algebraic equations in a rectangular
two-dimensional computational domain is developed to speed up the computations. A
multiblock procedure with the line group method is used to solve a piston-driven
oscillating heat transfer problem. The numerical results obtained show some interesting
new phenomena and agree with analytical results where such comparisons are possible.
We consider the oscillatory flow configuration shown in Fig. I. It is based on the thermal
pump configuration [I71 and consists essentially of an open-ended flat plate channel of
length L and width 2a connected to two reservoirs inside of which there are sinusoidally
oscillating rectangular piston plates. The space within the channel and reservoirs is filled
with an incompressible fluid and the conduit walls are insulated. The left reservoir walls
including the piston face are maintained at constant temperature T h while the right
reservoir walls and piston face are maintained at T c. The temperature gradient normal to
the conduit axis vanishes at both the channel walls and the channel axis. Both the axial
(U) and transverse (V) velocity components vanish on all nonmovable wall sections, and
the axial component has a velocity equal to the piston velocity at the piston face. The
reservoirs have width 2b. The configuration symmetry is such that the actual numerical
calculations for the two-dimensional spatial velocity field and temperature field will need
to be done only over the upper half (i.e., y > 0) of the cross section shown in Fig. 1. The
fact that the pistons perform in-phase sinusoidal oscillations at an angular frequency
also allows a reduction of the time portion of the calculations to only the first half of each
oscillation period.
In the numerical calculations that extended over the region y > 0, we found it convenient
to break the computation region into three subregions by using nonuniform grids as
indicated in Fig. 2. All three grids (one time-independent one for the connecting channel
and two movable grids for the end reservoirs) had nonuniform grid spacing generated by
the stretching formulas found in the book by Anderson [I41 such that those regions near
the walls and at the edge of the jet region at y = 1 where large shear regions are
anticipated have higher grid density. This generally involved stretching parameters in
both the axial and transverse direction for each of the three grids. The grid sizes at the
edges of the subregions at nondimensional distance x = Ll2a and x = -L/2a were made
equal. They components of the grids were generated at the beginning of each run while
the x components had to be generated at each time step because of the moving piston
boundaries. Note that the tidal displacement enters the problem only through boundary
condition (5) and not through Eqs. (1)-(4).
First, the time-periodic flow indicates the existence of two counterrotating vortexes in
each reservoir whose rotation direction remains the same throughout the oscillation cycle.
The rotation sense is such that the fluid motion along the dividing line (i.e., x axis) is
always toward the pistion wall and away from the connecting channel exit. This type of
counterrotating behavior is apparently not only present under laminar conditions but also

has been found experimentally under conditions where the fluid within the end reservoirs
is turbulent [16]. Note how a narrow fluid jet shoots across the right reservoir starting at
about t = v/4 and impinging on the movable piston wall at t = 2713. This corresponds
to a velocity of about 400 cm/s and is consistent with what can be expected by fluid
continuity considerations and the much slower piston face velocity. The typical buildup to
the final periodic state of the axial velocity component, for the case of a = 3, Pr = I, and
Ax = 6 cm, from its initial value of zero is shown in Fig. 6. It indicates the value of U(x,
y, r) at the center of the connecting channel and at x = - 175 (length in multiples of the
channel half width a) and y = 0 at the center of the left reservoir. The comparison of the
analytical value [6] for the axial velocity existing in a channel of infinite length at the
channel center is shown as a comparison with the numerical results for x/L= 0.2, It does
confirm the accuracy of the present numerical results. In comparing the analytical and
numerical values of U at the connecting channel center. we introduced a phase shift of
17. Note the sharp periodic velocity pulses occurring in the reservoir at considerable
distance from the channel exit.
The temperature distribution corresponding to the streamline pattern shown in Fig. 5 is
found in Fig. 7 at 15 intervals during the oscillation cycle. Its main feature is that the
temperatures in the reservoirs, not directly along the walls or along the x axis extension
of the connecting channel, are close to being isothermal. The isotherms shown in the
figure are spaced at T = 0.02 intervals, with the temperature values on the left reservoir
walls being T = 1 and those on the right reservoir walls being T = - 1. The average
temperature within the left reservoir is approximately T = 0.75 and that in the right
reservoir T = -0.75. Note that there is a thermal plume entering the right reservoir
approximately coincident with the impinging fluid jet. This corresponds to a heat pulse
entering the colder right reservoir and has the counterpart of a cold fluid pulse entering
the left reservoir during the earlier part of the oscillation cycle. This type of heat
exchange represents the essence of the thermal pumping technique [I7] whereby heat is
exchanged between two reservoirs at rates orders of magnitude higher than by pure
conduction yet there is no convective mass exchange between the fluids in the reservoirs
as long as the tidal displacement remains smaller than about half the channel length.
Although some diffusive mass transfer is possible, this will be very small when dealing
with liquids generally characterized by very high Schmidt numbers. The fact that the
temperatures are almost uniform in the reservoirs during the oscillation cycle clearly
indicates that the sinusoidal piston motions provide excellent fluid mixing within the
chambers.