Heat transfer from wall to dense packing structures of spheres, cylinders and Raschig rings

E. M. Moghaddam, E.A. Foumeny, A. I. Stankiewicz, J. T. Padding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the validity of azimuthal averaging of 3D temperature fields in the analysis of lateral heat transfer in dense particle packings. This is conducted by synthetic generation of 3D packing surrogates of spheres, cylinders and Raschig rings with tube-to-pellet diameter ratio, 3 < N < 6, using an in-house Rigid Body Dynamics packing algorithm, followed by detailed discrete pellet CFD simulations of heat transfer from wall to bed for laminar, transient and turbulent flow regimes. The CFD results of hydrodynamics and temperature fields are benchmarked against empirical correlations for pressure drop and interphase heat transfer Nusselt number, Nu, offering the best fits with correlations proposed by Eisfeld and Schnitzlein (for cylinders and spheres) and Nemec and Levec (for rings) for pressure drop, and by Gunn and Sun and coworkers for the prediction of Nu. The CFD results demonstrate that fluctuations in local temperature are completely neglected by azimuthal-averaging of 3D temperature fields over the bed volume, leading to more than 150 °C deviations from the local temperature data. Furthermore, it is found that deviations between azimuthally-averaged axial velocity profile and true local velocities are in an analogous fashion transmitted to the temperature field. This is evidenced by the coincidence of the peaks in the deviation profiles of azimuthally-averaged temperature and velocity from the local data over the bed radius. This is due to thermal disequilibrium between fluid and pellet phases which is partially omitted by the azimuthal-averaging of the 3D temperature field and basically neglected in pseudo-homogenous ker-hw models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127994
Number of pages21
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Azimuthal averaging
  • Cylinders
  • Fixed beds
  • Heat transfer
  • Particle-resolved CFD simulations
  • Raschig rings
  • Rigid body dynamics


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