Heat Transfer Analog Essay

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Heat Transfer Analog Abstract The objective of this analysis was to take measured nodal voltages, based on input power sources, to effectively and accurately simulate heat transfer and generate “smooth” curves for equipotential lines using an iterative MATLAB process. This experiment was possible due to the similarities of the governing equations for heat transfer and electrical circuits. Data for the heat transfer analog was previously obtained by direct measurement, producing several graphs of the equipotential lines, indicating the flow of power (or heat) through the system. Upon completion of the experimental data collection, the objective of understanding the pathways of the flow of power through the system was achieved through the creation of equipotential lines. When compared to the numerical iteration completed in MATLAB, the experimental data followed a very similar pattern, however the numerical method was “smoother” due to 472 iterations completed instead of one sample voltage at each node. The experiment was completed with particular attention paid to precision, with an overall voltage error of ±0.112V. The error was obtained by an analysis of the test equipment. Further sources of error were due in part to human error, and natural imperfections in the test apparatus, such as glue in the test chamber. Based on these similarities to the numerical method one may conclude that the findings are of reasonable accuracy. Introduction In the study of heat transfer, it is often convenient to use a thermal circuit as a model for a system. Such models are a result from an analogy between the electrical resistance associated with the conduction of electricity and the thermal resistance associated with heat conduction [1]. An experiment was previously conducted to illustrate this analogy for the example of two-dimensional heat flow over a plate with four

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