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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhmt

Technical Note

Suitability of the Method Of Lines for rendering analytic/numeric


solutions of the unsteady heat conduction equation in a large plane wall
with asymmetric convective boundary conditions
Marcelo D. Marucho a, Antonio Campo b,
a
b

Department of Physics, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, United States
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, United States

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 27 January 2016
Accepted 31 March 2016
Available online 13 April 2016
Keywords:
Unsteady heat conduction
Large plane wall
Asymmetric convective boundary
conditions
Method Of Lines (MOL)
Eigenvalue method
Analytic/numeric solutions

a b s t r a c t
The primary objective of the present study is to implement the Method Of Lines (MOL) for the analysis of
the unsteady, one-dimensional, heat conduction equation in a large plane wall with different convective
boundary conditions at the two exposed surfaces. In the equation, MOL discretizes the space derivative
while leaving the time derivative continuous. By way of MOL, the adjoint system of linear, first order ordinary differential equations will be solved analytically (not numerically) with the eigenvalue method. The
outcome of the computational procedure provides a discrete sequence of piecewise temperatures-time
variations at each line, which is expressed in terms of linear combinations of exponential functions of
time containing the eigenvalues and eigenvectors. A practical example dealing with the temperature
evolution in a large single-pane window is tackled with two meshes, one having three and the other having five lines. The collection of analytic/numeric temperaturetime solutions provided by MOL and the
eigenvalue method exhibits excellent quality at all time.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Typical engineering applications involving non-symmetric
unsteady one-dimensional, heat conduction arises in walls of
furnaces, boilers, houses, etc.
To solve the unsteady one-dimensional, heat conduction in a
large plane wall, the method of separation of variables delivers
an exact, analytic avenue when the unsteady one-dimensional heat
conduction equation is linear and the boundary conditions in the
domain are homogeneous (see Refs. [17]). The rationale is that
the, the boundary value problem via an ordinary differential equation of second order in the space variable is in the SturmLiouville
form. Without this comportment, the problem would not be an
eigenvalue problem at all, and it is unlikely that enough separated
solutions could be found to solve the unsteady one-dimensional,
conduction problem.
Conversely, if the unsteady one-dimensional, heat equation is
subjected to boundary conditions with unequal unequal fluid temperatures, the principle of superposition of solutions provides a
reasonable procedure. Because any superposition of solutions of a
linear, homogeneous partial differential equation is again a solution, the particular solutions may then be combined to obtain more
Corresponding author.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2016.03.118
0017-9310/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

general solutions. For instance, if u1 and u2 are solutions of a partial


differential equation in the region R, then u = C1u1 + C2u2 with any
constants C1 and C2, is also a solution of the partial differential
equation in the region R. In this category, the decomposition begins
by splitting the original unsteady one-dimensional heat conduction problem into two sub-problems, one sub-problem with an
unsteady part and the other sub-problems with a steady part,
which includes the non-homogeneous boundary conditions. The
unsteady part will conform to the requirements of the method of
separation of variables, i.e., the unsteady part has homogeneous
boundary conditions and an inhomogeneous initial condition,
which is the form that can be tackled by the method of separation
of variables. The drawback posed by the superposition principle is
that sometimes the final solution is a fairly complicated mosaic of
individual solutions. As a direct consequence, the functional
dependence of an independent variable can appear in several different forms within a solution. Owing to this ill-behavior, the
superposition principle turns out to be strenuous. Conversely, the
method of variation of parameters is considered a general method
for solving an arbitrary inhomogeneous unsteady one-dimensional
heat conduction problem [8]. The inhomogeneities can be present
in the unsteady heat conduction equation and/or the applicable
boundary conditions. In principle, the method of variation of
parameters consists on a single series expansion of eigenfunctions,

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M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

Nomenclature
cv
h1
h2
k
L
t
T
Tin
Tf1
Tf2
x

specific heat capacity at constant volume [J/kg K]


mean convection coefficient of hot fluid 1 [W/m2 K]
mean convection coefficient of cold fluid 2 [W/m2 K]
thermal conductivity [W/m K]
thickness of large plane wall [m]
time [s]
temperature [K]
initial temperature [K]
temperature of hot fluid 1 [K]
temperature of cold fluid 2 [K]
coordinate [m]

and turns out to be more involved than the principle of


superposition.
In view of the foregoing, it is clear that both the superposition
principle and the method of variation of parameters turn out to
be complex procedures and of course simpler approaches should
be explored. A technique that has not been reported in the literature for solving a more general unsteady, one-dimensional heat
conduction equation with a variety of boundary conditions of
homogeneous and non-homogeneous type is the powerful Method
Of Lines (MOL).
A literature review reveals that a simple problem for unsteady,
one-dimensional heat conduction in a large plane wall involving
constant initial temperature and equal temperature boundary conditions has been treated by Method Of Lines (MOL) in Ref. [9].
Exploiting thermal symmetry, the corresponding system of first
order, linear ordinary differential equations was solved numerically with the RungeKutta method of fourth/fifth order using
the MATLAB program ode45. Correspondingly, the numericallyinspired methodology was named the Numerical Method Of Lines
(NMOL). Another simple problem dealing with unsteady, onedimensional heat conduction in a large plane wall having constant
initial temperature, but with unequal temperature boundary
conditions has been tackled with NMOL in Reference [10]. The constant temperature boundary conditions utilized in [9,10] are
described as the easiest boundary conditions in heat conduction
theory [17].
The primary objective of the present study to implement the
Method Of Lines (MOL), not the Numerical Method Of Lines
(NMOL) used in [9,10], for the analysis of the unsteady, onedimensional heat conduction equation in a large plane wall with
dissimilar convective boundary conditions at the two sides of the
domain. The adjoint system of linear, first order ordinary differential equations will be solved analytically (not numerically) with the
elegant eigenvalue method. To put things in perspective, a practical engineering problem associated with unsteady, onedimensional heat conduction in a house window exposed to hot
air on one side and cold air on the other side is addressed in detail.

Greek symbols
thermal diffusivity, qkcv [m2/s]
Dx
space interval [m]
q
density [kg/m3]

Subscripts
ls
left surface of large plane wall
mp
mid-plane of large plane wall
rs
right surface of large plane wall

t > 0, the left surface of the plane wall is exposed to a hot fluid 1
characterized by a mean convection coefficient h1 and freestream temperature Tf1, whereas the right surface is exposed to a
cold fluid 2 characterized by a mean convection coefficient h2
and free-stream temperature Tf2, (herein Tf1 > Tf2). Accordingly,
the unsteady, one-dimensional 1-D heat conduction equation is

@T
@2T
a 2
@t
@x

in 0 < x < L

subject to the initial condition

T T in ; t 0

The asymmetric convective boundary conditions are

k

@T
h1 T f 1  T;
@x

x0

3a

k

@T
h2 T  T f 2 ;
@x

xL

3b

This kind of boundary conditions is called Robin boundary condition [17]. Specifically, Eq. (3a) indicates convection heating at
the left surface x = 0, while Eq. (3b) indicates convection cooling
at the right surface x = L. The unequal convective boundary conditions signify no thermal symmetry about the mid-plane of the large
plane wall. On one hand, if a new temperature variable h T  T f 2
is introduced in Eq. (3b), then this equation becomes a homogeneous boundary condition. On the other hand, Eq. (3a) rewritten
in terms of h remains a non-homogeneous boundary condition.
Obviously, this structure purports that the standard method of separation of variables cannot be applied directly [17]. Moreover, as
already mentioned in the Introduction, the principle of superposition and the method of variation of parameters are laborious.
Therefore, alternative methods are needed.
Three particular cases are related to the pair of convective
boundary conditions represented in Eqs. (3a) and (3b):

2. Physical system and mathematical formulation


Consider unsteady heat conduction in a large plane wall of
thickness L sketched in Fig. 1. The height H and the width W of
the plane wall are large relative to the thickness L, and thus the
unsteady heat conduction can be approximated to be onedimensional. The wall material has constant or nearly constant
thermal conductivity k and constant thermal diffusivity a also.
The initial temperature is uniform and equal to Tin. For times

Fig.
1. Computational
(space interval Dx = 2L ).

domain

for

Case

involving

three

lines

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M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

(a) Vigorous convection at the left surface

T Tf 1
k

x0

@T
h2 T  T f 2 ;
@x

3c
xL

3d

(b) Vigorous convection at the right surface

k

@T
h1 T f 1  T;
@x

T Tf 2

x0

xL

3e
3f

(c) Vigorous convection at the left and right surfaces

T Tf 1

x0

3g

T Tf 2

xL

3h

of the PDE using MOL with finite differences is easy to apply and
because of this feature will be employed in this study.
In the specific case of the unsteady 1-D heat conduction equation where the independent variables are the space coordinate x
and time t, MOL discretizes the spatial derivative approximating
the PDE by a system of first-order ordinary differential equations
in t. Therefore, in the platform of solutions, the Method Of Lines
(MOL) replaces the exact, analytic solution u(x, t) at an infinite
number of points in the spacetime domain with an approximate
semi-analytic solution uj (t), j = 1, 2, . . . N on a finite number of lines
displayed in the spacetime domain. To implement MOL in connection to Eq. (1) for the large plane wall, the special computational domain is constructed with a collection of straight lines
that are perpendicular to the x-coordinate and are conveniently
separated by equal space intervals Dx = xj+1  xj.
2

is the case treated in Ref. [10].


(d) Vigorous convection at the left and right surfaces with equal
fluid temperatures

T Tf 1

x0

3i

T Tf 1

xL

3j

is the case treated in Ref. [9].


There are two alternative analytic procedures for solving the
1-D unsteady heat conduction problem with non-homogeneous
boundary conditions reported in the literature. One procedure is
the principle of superposition [2,4,6,7], wherein a partial unsteady
solution is superimposed with a partial steady solution. Due to the
intricacies of the non-homogeneous boundary conditions, this
approach fails for handling the set of Eqs. (3a)-(3b), (3c)-(3d),
(3e)-(3f). The other procedure is the method of variation of parameters described by Mackowski [8]. This method is viewed as a general method for solving an arbitrary inhomogeneous unsteady heat
conduction problem consisting on a single series expansion of
eigenfunctions. Consequently, the method of variation of parameters is more complicated than the principle of superposition.
The objective of the present study is to determine the nonsymmetrical temperature field T(x, t) in the large plane with convective boundary conditions involving different mean convection
coefficients and different fluid temperatures. To accomplish this,
an approximate semi-analytic technique (not a numeric technique,
like NMOL used in [9,10]) will be implemented here. The method in
question is named The Method Of Lines (MOL), which is briefly
expounded in the following section.
3. Synopsis of the Method Of Lines (MOL)
The Method Of Lines (MOL) embodies a hybrid procedure for
solving partial differential equations in one- or multiple dimensions in a semi-analytical manner [11]. The Method Of Lines
(MOL) refers to an approximation of a partial differential equation
(PDE) with a system of ordinary differential equations in one of the
independent variables. In other words, the basic idea behind MOL
is to replace certain spatial (boundary value) derivatives in the PDE
with algebraic approximations with one remaining independent
variable. As a direct result, the transformed system of ODEs
approximates the original PDE. The main motivation inherent to
MOL is that an adjoint system of ordinary differential equations
is easier to solve than the original partial differential equation. In
general, the required algebraic approximation of the spatial derivatives in the PDE can be based on finite differences, finite elements,
collocations or Fourier series expansions. Obviously, the treatment

The spatial derivative @@xT2 in the unsteady, 1-D heat conduction


equation (1) is discretized with the three-point central finitedifference approximation


@ 2 T
T j1  2T j T j1
ODx2

@x2
Dx2

xj

where the term O (Dx)2 represents the truncation error of second


order.
Combining Eqs. (1) and (4) delivers right away the following
system of ordinary differential equations of first order in t,

dT j
a
T j1  2T j T j1 ODx2 ;

dt
Dx2

j 1; 2; . . . ; M

along with the discretized initial conditions

T j T in ; t 0;

j 1; 2; . . . ; M

6
2

As a by-product, the spatial derivative @@xT2 is no longer stated in


Eq. (5). For closure, the adjoint system of M ordinary differential
equations of first order absorbing the two boundary conditions stated in Eqs. (3a) and (3b) is subject to M initial conditions in Eq. (6).
From a fundamental standpoint, the original initial value problem
(IVP) given by the set of Eqs. (1), (2), (3a) and (3b) is replaced by an
initial value problem (IVP) given by the tandem of Eqs. (5) and (6).
The approximate MOL solution Tj (t) can be obtained by solving
Eqs. (5) and (6) either analytically or numerically. Obviously, analytical solutions are preferable, if they are available. Surely, analytic solutions are more elegant and reliable and typically are
faster. In fact, the primary advantage of an analytic solution over
a numeric solution is that it delivers a closed-form expression
(instead of a long list of numbers), allowing the analyst to gain
some insight from. In this context, the eigenvalue method [12] constitutes a powerful method to solve analytically a system of linear
ordinary differential equations of first order. Correspondingly, the
system of ordinary differential equations (5) can be rewritten in
vector form as

x0 t Axt
where A is a matrix with constant entry. The idea is to find analytic
solutions of the form

x0 t v expkt
where k is an eigenvalue and v is an associate eigenvector.
In principle, when the limit of the RHS in Eq. (5) is taken as the
space interval Dx?0, the system of ordinary differential equations
of first order collapses with the original parabolic partial differential equation (1) and consequently the two solutions are identical.
An important advantage possessed by MOL is that the errors are
quantified in terms of the space interval Dx solely, because time

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M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

is continuous, i.e., the time interval Dt is absent. Therefore, the


errors are controllable in an easy way [11].
Important issues related to convergence, stability and errors of
semi-analytic solutions for parabolic partial differential equations
employing the Method Of Lines (MOL) have been addressed in
the past. The salient representative references are those by Verwer
and Sanz-Serna [13], Reddy and Trefethen [14], and Zafarullah [15],
respectively.
As a side comment, it should be added that the Method Of Lines
(MOL) has been applied with success to certain specialized problems on unsteady 1-D heat conduction, such as the inverse heat
conduction problem by Campo and Ho [16] and the Stefan problem
by Campo and Lacoa [17]. Additionally, a variant of the Method Of
Lines (MOL), the Transversal Method Of Lines (TMOL) has been utilized by Campo and Garza [18] to tackle unsteady 1-D heat conduction with heat flux boundary conditions. TMOL discretizes the time
derivative in the PDE approximating it by a sequence of secondorder ordinary differential equations in the space variable x.

Hence, the temperature T4 at the fictitious line 4 (lying outside of


the computational domain in Fig. 1) is expressed as

4. Implementation of the Method Of Lines (MOL)

As the second attempt in the discretization of Eq. (5), we chose


the space interval Dx = 4L splitting the previous space interval Dx = 2L
in half. This process supplies five lines: line 1, line 2, line 3, line 4
and line 5 as shown in Fig. 2. First, the three interior lines are line 2,
line 3 and line 4, which establish active lines. This line selection
furnishes the system of three coupled ordinary differential equations of first-order and homogeneous

4.1. Case 1. Three active lines


As the first attempt in Eq. (5), we chose the coarsest space interval Dx = 2L delivering three active lines: line 1, line 2 and line 3 as
shown Fig. 1. In fact, this is the minimum line arrangement that
could be done within the framework of MOL. Thereby, the resulting
system of three coupled ordinary differential equations of firstorder and homogeneous is

T4 T2 

2Dx h2
T 3  T f 2
k

14

Substituting T4 into Eq. (9) results in the following ordinary differential equations of first-order


 



dT 3
a
2Dxh2
2Dxh2
Tf2
2T


2
T
2
3
dt
k
k
Dx2

15

Correspondingly, the system of three coupled, ordinary differential equations of first-order and homogeneous for Case 1 consists
in Eqs. (12), (8) and (15) where Dx = 2L . Further, the three initial
conditions in Eq. (6) are converted to

T 1 T 2 T 3 T in ; t 0

16

4.2. Case 2. Three active lines and two inactive lines

dT 2
a
T 1  2T 2 T 3

dt
Dx2

17

dT 1
a
T 0  2T 1 T 2

dt
Dx2

dT 3
a
T 2  2T 3 T 4

dt
Dx2

18

dT 2
a
T 1  2T 2 T 3

dt
Dx2

dT 4
a
T 3  2T 4 T 5

dt
Dx2

19

dT 3
a
T 2  2T 3 T 4

dt
Dx2

Next, the two boundary conditions in Eqs. (3a) and (3b) need to
in
be incorporated. For enhanced accuracy, the first derivative @T
@x
Eq. (3a) is handled with the two-point central formulation with
second order error ODx2 ,


@T
T j1  T j1

ODx2
@x xj
2Dx

T 2 T 3 T 4 T in ;

t0

20

Second, the two boundary lines make two inactive lines: line 1
(coincident with the left surface) and line 5 (coincident with the
right surface). For enhanced accuracy, the first derivative @T
in
@x
Eq. (3a) is replaced by the three-point forward formulation with
second order error ODx2 ,


@T
T j2 4T j1  3T j

ODx2
@x xj
2 Dx

This approach supplies the algebraic approximation



T2  T0
k
h1 T f 1  T 1
2 Dx

10

From here, the temperature T0 at the fictitious line 0 (lying outside of the computation domain in Fig. 1) is expressed as

T0 T2

The three initial conditions become

2Dx h1
T f 1  T 1
k

Thereby, the algebraic approximation equivalent to Eq. (3a)


yields



T 3 4T 2  3T 1
k
h1 T f 1  T 1
2 Dx

21

11

Substituting T0 into Eq. (7) delivers the following ordinary differential equations of first-order


 



dT 1
a
2Dxh1
2Dxh1
Tf 1
2T 2 

2 T1
2
dt
k
k
Dx

12

Likewise, the same two-point central formulation with second


order error ODx2 for the first derivative
the algebraic approximation

k



T4  T2
h2 T 3  T f 2
2Dx

@T
@x

in Eq. (3b) provides

13

Fig. 2. Computational
(space interval Dx = 4L ).

domain

for

Cases

and

involving

five

lines

M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

Correspondingly, the temperature T1 at the inactive line 1 is


evaluated from the companion algebraic equation


 

2Dxh1
 T 3 4T 2
Tf 1
2Dxh1
k
3
1

T1 

22

Similarly, the three-point backward formulation with second


2

order error ODx for the first derivative


@T
3T j2  4T j1 T j

Dx2
@x xj
2Dx

@T
@x

in Eq. (3b) is

31

Substituting Eq. (31) into Eq. (25) T0 is eliminated and the outcome leads to the ordinary differential equations of first-order


 



dT 1
a
2Dxh1
2Dxh1
Tf 1
2T


2
T
2
1
dt
k
k
Dx2

32

Similarly, applying the same two-point central formulation to the

k
23

which is equivalent to Eq. (3b). Finally, the temperature T5 at the


inactive line 5 is evaluated from the companion algebraic equation



 
1
2Dxh2
 T 3 4T 4
T5 
Tf 2
2Dxh2
k
3

2 Dx h 1
T f 1  T 1
k

space derivative @T
in Eq. (3b) with second order error ODx2 pro@x
duces the equivalent algebraic approximation

Hence, this provides the algebraic approximation



3T 5  4T 4 T 3
k
h2 T 5  T f 2
2Dx

T0 T2

205

24

In synthesis, Case 2 engages: (1) a system of three coupled, ordinary differential equations of first-order and homogeneous for the
interior temperatures T2, T3, and T4 in Eqs. (17)-(19), which are
subject to the three initial conditions in Eqs. (20) and (2) two companion algebraic equations for the surface temperatures T1 and T5
in Eqs. (22) and (24).



T6  T4
h2 T 5  T f 2
2 Dx

33

Thereupon, T6 in the fictitious line 6 (lying outside of the computational domain in Fig. 2) is evaluated with the algebraic equation

T6 T4 

2 Dx h 2
T5  Tf 2
k

34

Substituting Eq. (34) into Eq. (28) T6 is eliminated and the outcome ends up in the ordinary differential equations of first-order





 
dT 5
a
2Dxh2
2Dxh2
2T


2
T
Tf 2
4
5
dt
k
k
Dx2

35

Consequently, Case 3 accounts for the system of five coupled,


ordinary differential equations of first-order given by Eqs. (31),
(26), (27), (28) and (35), which is subject to the five initial
conditions

4.3. Case 3. Five active lines

T 1 T 2 T 3 T 4 T 5 T in ; t 0

As the third attempt linked to Eq. (5), we chose the same space
interval Dx = 4L as in Case 2, but now allowing for all lines: line 1,
line 2, line 3, line 4 and line 5 to be active as shown in Fig. 2. Therefore, the system of five coupled ordinary differential equations of
first-order and homogeneous comprises of

The symbolic software Mathematica [19] was used to solve analytically the three systems of coupled ordinary differential equations of first order and homogeneous representative of Cases 1, 2
and 3 under study. In the three cases, the eigenvalue method computed the sequence of eigenquantities, such as eigenvalues k and
the associate eigenvectors v in a Mathematica environment.

dT 1
a
T 0  2T 1 T 2

dt
Dx2

25

5. Practical example

dT 2
a
T 1  2T 2 T 3

dt
Dx2

26

dT 3
a
T 2  2T 3 T 4

dt
Dx2

27

dT 4
a
T 3  2T 4 T 5

dt
Dx2

28

dT 5
a

T 4  2T 5 T 6
dt
Dx2

29

Consider unsteady heat conduction through a large single-pane


house window with dimensions 0.8 m high, 1.5 m wide and 8 mm
thickness. For the glass, the thermal conductivity is k = 0.78 W/m K
and the thermal diffusivity is a = 3.4  104 m2/s are taken from
Bejan [20]. Take the mean convective coefficients on the inner
and outer surfaces of the single-pane window to be h1 = W/m2 K
and h2 = 40 W/m2 K, respectively. The air temperature inside the
room is Tf1 = 20 C and the outside air temperature is Tf2 = 10 C.
The initial temperature is set at Tin = 10 C. The objective is to
determine the temperature distribution T(x, t) in the single-pane
window with the Method Of Lines (MOL) utilizing Cases 1, 2 and 3.
6. Presentation of analytic/numeric results

For enhanced accuracy, the first derivative @T


in Eq. (3a) is trea@x
ted with the two-point central formulation with second order error
ODx2 ,


@T
T j1  T j1

ODx2
@x xj
2 Dx

The sequence of semi-analytic piecewise temperaturetime


solutions for Cases 1, 2 and 3 are listed next:
Case 1:

T 1 t 2:222222  0:163145e0:0878741t
 0:675717e0:0477828t  6:93892e0:00246813t

This gives rise to the equivalent algebraic approximation



T2  T0
h1 T f 1  T 1
k
2 Dx

36

36a

T 2 t 3:333333 0:16602e0:0878741t
30

In here, the temperature T0 in the fictitious line 0 (lying outside


the computational domain in Fig. 2) is evaluated with the algebraic
equation

0:0502064e0:0477828t  6:88289e0:00246813t

36b

T 3 t 4:444444  0:19135e0:0878741t
0:663236e0:0477828t  6:02744e0:00246813t

36c

206

M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

Fig. 3. Evolution of T1(t) at the left surface of the window for Case 1.

Fig. 4. Evolution of T2(t) at the mid-plane in the window for Case 1.

For visualization, the three T1(t), T2(t), T3(t) are plotted in


Figs. 35 sequentially.
Case 2:

37a

37b

T 3 t 3:333333 0:0676347e0:228663t
0:0151481e0:0611834t  6:74945e0:00242869t

Case 3:

0:181894e0:1753t  0:557722e0:054974t  6:88234e0:002453t


38a
T 2 t 2:777778 0:0421474e0:342902t 0:0809188e0:295621t

37c

0:00112335e0:1753t  0:391311e0:054974t  6:9551e0:0024527t


38b

T 4 t 3:888889  0:0239667e0:228663t
0:344893e0:0611834t  6:43204e0:00242869t

37e

T 1 t 2:22222  0:0424841e0:342902t  0:11334e0:295621t

T 2 t 2:777778  0:0227113e0:228663t
 0:3255e0:0611834t  6:87401e0:00242869t

0:426383e0:0611834t  5:93084e0:00242869t

To save journal space, the five T1(t), T2(t), T3(t), T4(t), T5(t) are not
reported graphically.

T 1 t 2:222222  0:0519606e0:228663t
 0:431852e0:0611834t  6:80216e0:00242869t

T 5 t 4:444444  0:0510942e0:228663t

37d

T 3 t 3:333333  0:0432498e0:342902t  0:00624937e0:295621t


0:181823e0:1753t 0:0281814e0:054974t  6:82717e0:0024527t

38c

M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

207

Fig. 5. Evolution of T3(t) at the right surface of the window for Case 1.

T 4 t 3:888889 0:045829e0:342902t  0:0716829e0:295621t


0:0124604e0:1753t 0:429447e0:054974t  6:50224e0:0024527t
38d
T 5 t 4:444444  0:0499731e

0:342902t

0:295621t

0:112189e

0:181047e0:1753t 0:552967e0:054974t  5:98969e0:0024527t


38e
Again, to save journal space, the five T1(t), T2(t), T3(t), T4(t), T5(t)
are not reported graphically.
A convergence analysis must revolve around the time-varying
temperatures at the left and right surfaces of the large window
(the two critical locations). In this regard, the pair of Figs. 6 and
7 has been prepared to compare the monotonic increasing temperatures for Cases 1, 2 and 3. For the three curves Tls vs t at the left
surface, the uppermost curve corresponds to Case 1, followed by
the middle curve for Case 2 and ending with the lowermost curve
for Case 3. There is a minor disagreement near the initial temperature of the order of 4%, but thereafter the temperature deviations

between the curves disappear gradually. The three curves Trs vs t at


the right surface overlap indicating perfect agreement. In conforand
mity with the discretization of the two spatial derivatives @T
@x
@2 T
@x2

employed with second order error, the piecewise temperature


distributions Tj (t), in the large window are second order accurate
also.
Additionally, the asymptotic steady temperatures for large time
t ? 1 provided by Mathematica [19] are reported now: (1) the
temperature at the left surface of the window in contact with the
hot fluid 1 is Tls = 2.22 C, (2) the temperature at the mid-plane
inside the window is Tmp = 3.33 C and (3) the temperature at
the right surface of the window in contact with the cold fluid 2
is Trs = 4.44 C. Interestingly, the three temperatures Tls, Tmp, and
Trs coincide with those coming from evaluating the temperature
distribution T(x) with the 1-D steady heat conduction equation
2

d T
2

dx

0 in 0 < x < L

Fig. 6. Comparison of the temperaturetime variation at the left surface of the window for Cases 1, 2 and 3.

39

208

M.D. Marucho, A. Campo / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 99 (2016) 201208

Fig. 7. Comparison of the temperaturetime variation at the right surface of the window for Cases 1, 2 and 3.

subject to the asymmetric convective boundary conditions

k

dT
h1 T f 1  T;
dx

x0

3a

k

dT
h2 T  T f 2 ;
dx

xL

3b

7. Conclusions
The main conclusion that may be drawn from the theoretical
study dealing with the unsteady one-dimensional heat conduction
equation for a large plane wall with two different convective
boundary conditions is that the combination of the Method Of
Lines (MOL) and the eigenvalue method constitutes a formidable
computational procedure for generating semi-analytic/numeric
temperaturetime solutions with good accuracy. Obviously, the
number of lines needed for solving the unsteady 1-D heat conduction equation with MOL depends on four factors: (1) the geometry
of the solid body, (2) the magnitude of the thermo-physical
quantities, (3) the nature of the boundary conditions and (4) the
sensitivity analysis of the MOL computational domain.
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