Mesoscopic simulations of phase distribution effects on the effective thermal conductivity of microgranular porous media.
This paper analyzes the phase distribution effects on the effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of multi-phase microgranular porous media using mesoscopic statistics based numerical methods. A multi-parameter random generation-growth method, quartet structure generation set (QSGS), is developed for replicating microstructures of multi-phase granular porous media based on the macroscopic statistical information, such as the volume fractions and the phase interactions. The phase distribution characteristics and the interphase connections are controlled by adjusting the related parameters. Then the energy transport equations through porous media are solved by a lattice Boltzmann method developed by us with multi-phase conjugate heat transfer considered. The results indicate that a smaller average particle size could lead to a larger effective thermal conductivity of two-phase porous media for a certain porosity. For the anisotropic media, if the larger directional growth probability is along the direction of temperature gradient, the effective thermal conductivity in the parallel direction is enhanced as a result, and that in the vertical direction will be weakened. For multi-phase porous media, the degree of phase conglomeration is determined by the phase interactions. A larger liquid-liquid interaction leads to a higher degree of liquid phase conglomeration and therefore a larger effective thermal conductivity of the porous media.