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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2008.CHT.60
page 22

Gordon D. Mallinson
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


Although the construction of the lines of a vector field is a fundamental visualisation technique for indicating how fluid motion influences heat and mass transfer processes, issues arising from inaccuracies in the representation of conservation laws represented by a vector field limit the technique's utility. Scalar stream functions and vector potentials offer the promise of avoiding these inaccuracies and for providing global or whole field visualisations and interpretations. This paper discusses the issues associated with vector line construction and traces a search for suitable potential based methods that commenced with the advent of 3D computational heat transfer. Application to computational heat transfer is demonstrated by an analysis of the use of stream and heat lines for visualisation. The role of an energy vector potential for the construction of 3D heat lines is described and demonstrated by application to natural convection in a cavity.

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