UNCONVENTIONAL METHODS FOR INFLUENCING FLUID FLOW. PART III. THERMAL PLUMBING.
Final rept. Oct 63-Apr 65,
CARNEGIE INST OF TECH PITTSBURGH PA DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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Thermal pumping, defined as the conversion of thermal energy heat into mechanical pumping energy flow work in a device without any moving parts, is examined in detail for four major types of devices. These unconventional pumping devices used the physical effects of capillarity, thermocapillarity, osmosis, or thermo-osmosis to influence the fluid flow through a particular convertor. Each convertor is analyzed using steady-state thermodynamic considerations that restrict the operation of the device to small deviations from equilibrium conditions. This initial analysis enables such performance characteristics as maximum thermal efficiency, optimum flow rates, and maximum pressure rises to be analytically and numerically evaluated for each convertor. For the case of the capillary and osmotic pumping devices the initial performance analysis was extended to allow for arbitrarily large pressure rises through these pumping devices. On the basis of this expanded analysis, a complete numerical study yielded sets of performance curves showing the effect of varying system parameters on the performance of either device. Author