ince the heat and mass transfer lab started
in 1980, the focus of the lab has shifted from being mainly experimental to being more about
scientific computing. So the equipment in the lab today is mostly computer work-stations, however the
experimental rig for heat transfer has been re-fitted, and is used for experimental validation of the
Our computer capabilities are made up of the workstations in the lab, and the servers to which
our group has access. When we first started applying computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to numerically
solve heat transfer and fluid flow in packed beds in the early 1990s, the first calculations were done
on Desktop PCs using a 386 Processor and a CFD package by ANSYS. Over the years since then we have
continually upgraded facilities, and now we use Dell Workstations for model set-up and postprocessing,
and our CFD simulations use 64-bit 12-processor servers dedicated to our research group, as well
as campus computational facilities. We now also run Fluent and Gambit for CFD packages (which have now been
bought by ANSYS, so full circle).
For more details on our computer facilities click here.
The other capabilities in our lab lie in experimental measurement of heat and mass transfer rates from the
tube wall to the fluid flowing through the packing of a fixed bed. Jacketed columns, a wide variety of
packings and a computer-based data acquisition sysytem are available for the heat transfer measurements. The
mass transfer rig consists of columns coated on the inside wall with a soluble substance, which then dissolves
into the flowing liquid, and an annular flow splitter with a collection system. For more details on our
experimental facilities click here.