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Heat transfer through thermomagnetic convection in magnetic fluids induced by varying magnetic fields

Magnetic fluid flow by thermomagnetic convection with and without buoyancy was studied in experiments and computational simulations. A mineral oil based ferro magnetic fluid was subjected to varying magnetic fields to induce thermomagnetic convection. As such fluids are mainly developed to increase heat transfer for cooling the fundamental effects on magnetic fluid flow was investigated using various magnetic field distributions. Computational simulations of natural and thermomagnetic convection are based on a Finite-Element technique and considered a constant magnetic field gradient, a realistic magnetic field generated by a permanent magnet and alternating magnetic fields. The magnetic field within the fluid domain was calculated by the magneto-static Maxwell equations and considered in an additional magnetic body force known as the Kelvin body force by numerical simulations. The computational model coupled the solutions of the magnetic field equations with the heat and fluid flow equations. Experiments to investigate thermomagnetic convection in the presence of terrestrial gravity used infrared thermography to record temperature fields that are validated by a corresponding numerical analysis. All configurations were chosen to investigate the response of the magnetic fluid to the applied body forces and their competition by varying the magnetic field intensity and its spatial distribution. As both body forces are temperature dependent, situations were analysed numerically and experimentally to give an indication of the degree by which heat transfer may be enhanced or reduced. Results demonstrate that the Kelvin body force can be much stronger than buoyancy and can induce convection where buoyancy is not able to. This was evident in a transition area if parts of a fluid domain are not fully magnetically saturated. Results for the transition from natural convection to thermomagnetic convection suggest that the domain of influence of the Kelvin body force is aligned with the dominance of the respective body force. To characterise the transition a body force ratio of the Kelvin body force to buoyancy was developed that identified the respective driving forces of the convection cells. The effects on heat transfer was quantified by the Nusselt number and a suitable Rayleigh number. A modified Rayleigh number was used when both body forces were active to define an effective body force by taking the relative orientation of both forces into account. Results for the alternating magnetic field presented flow fields that altered with the frequency of the applied magnetic field but with varying amplitude. This affected the heat transfer that alternated with the frequency but failed to respond instantaneously and a phase lag was observed which was characterised by three different time scales.
Date January 2017
CreatorsSzabo, Peter Sebastian Benedek
ContributorsLee, Yeaw Chu ; Fruh, Wolf-Gerrit
PublisherHeriot-Watt University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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