A model for effective thermal conductivity in a sorbing composite matrix structure
Sarwar, Mohammad Khursheed
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A systematic study of the effective thermal conductivity and moisture diffusivity of the dry, moist, and inert material including moist silica gel, is presented. The influence of porosity, water content, and presence of inert material is determined. The unit cell model is extended in order to account for the inert material’s having high thermal capacitance in the microparticles and moisture sorbed in the micropores. The conductivity of the particle is used to calculate the conductivity of the bed of particles, and it shows dependency of the effective thermal conductivity on the water content and amount of inert material. The proposed model for conductivity is used for study of heat and mass transfer processes that occur during moisture sorption in a silica gel desiccant bed dehumidifier consisting of parallel channels. The numerical results are compared with experimental data and results obtained by using a constant value of thermal conductivity of the bed.