Numerical solution of melting in side-heated rectangular enclosure under electromagnetically simulated low gravity

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Electromagnetic simulation of low-gravity environment has been numerically investigated to study the transport phenomena associated with melting of an electrically conducting phase change material, (Gallium), inside a rectangular enclosure. Electromagnetic fields are configured such that the resulting Lorentz force can be used to damp and/or counteract the natural convection and thereby simulating the low gravity environment of outer space. The governing equations are discretized using a control-volume-based finite difference scheme. The solutions are obtained for true low-gravity environment as well as for the simulated-low-gravity. The results show that when the Lorentz force is due to the presence of magnetic field alone, the low-gravity condition is simulated by the damping effect, which is shown to have a profound effect on the flow field. On the other hand, it was shown that under electromagnetic field simulation, where the Lorentz force is caused by the transverse electric and magnetic fields, it is possible to minimize the flow field distortion caused by the high magnetic field and therefore achieve a much better simulation of low-gravity. Furthermore, it was found that under electromagnetic simulation of low gravity the flow field can be reduced or even reversed but never completely halted.

Publication Title

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Heat Transfer Division, (Publication) HTD