Inverse Heat Conduction

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Inverse heat conduction methods can be used to determine heat flux and temperatures on an inaccessible surface of a wall by measuring the temperature on an accessible boundary (TS method, Figure 1). The noise present in any measure of temperature, however, can cause instabilities in the predicted heat fluxes. It has been shown that the predictioncan be greatly improved by measuring

Inverse Heat Conduction
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temperature at two locations. Altering the wall to include an interior thermocouple cannot be performed in many applications, and installation of an interior thermocouple can result in material inhomogeneities that change the heat flow through the wall. By numerical experiments and a sensitivity analysis it can be shown that incorporating a measurement of the heat flux at the accessible boundary (TS/HFS method, Figure 2) can be used to improve the calculation. The objective of this work was to develop a method by which stable predictions of the heat transfer on an inaccessible boundary could be obtained without altering the thermal boundary condition that would have existed were a sensor not present. A sensor that measures both heat transfer and temperature on an accessible boundary with minimal impact on the boundary condition is described and results of experiments with this sensor are presented. A schematic diagram of the sensor is shown on Figure 3. A small resistance heater (Active heater  in Figure 3) is attached to the accessible boundary of a wall, and its temperature is controlled by an electronic feedback loop to track the temperature of a passive temperature sensor (Passive sensor  in Figure 3) mounted on the same boundary a short distance away. The passive temperature sensor is very thin so the wall boundary condition is only minimally altered. The active heater is cooled by an efficient and substantial...

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