Numerical simulation of thermal boundary layer profile measurement

K. S. Kulkarni, S. Han, R. J. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Heat transfer rates from a surface can be determined from the slope of the temperature profile measured with a thermocouple wire traversing within a boundary layer. However, accuracy of such measurement can suffer due to flow distortion and conduction through the thermocouple wire. The present numerical study consists of two parts-a 2D simulation of flow distortion due to a cylinder in cross flow near a solid wall and a 3D simulation defined as a fin problem to calculate the thermal profile measurement error due to conduction through the thermocouple wires. Results show that the measured temperature is lower than the true temperature resulting in a 5% under-prediction of local heat transfer coefficient. A parametric study shows that low thermal conductivity thermocouple (E type) with a small wire diameter (76 micron) is desirable to reduce the measurement error in local Nusselt number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-877
Number of pages9
JournalHeat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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