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Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

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Applied Thermal Engineering


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

Research paper

Three-dimensional analytical solution for transport problem during


convection drying using Green's function method (GFM)
J.A. Esfahani a, *, S.M. Vahidhosseini a, E. Barati b
a

Center of Excellence on Modeling and Control Systems (CEMCS), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad
91775-1111, Iran
b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Khayyam University, Mashhad, Iran

h i g h l i g h t s

g r a p h i c a l a b s t r a c t

 A new method to solve transport


phenomena equations is introduced.
 Thermal diffusivity is considered as a
function of temperature.
 Solving
equations
in
three
dimensions.
 Using analytical approach with less
time and lower cost than numerical
solution.
 Reliable error rates for engineering
applications.

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 22 November 2014
Accepted 2 April 2015
Available online 18 April 2015

A three-dimensional analytical solution of transport problem of convection-drying is accomplished using


Green's function method (GFM). Mass conservation, momentum and energy equations must be solved to
obtain convective heat and mass transfer coefcients. In most papers, these equations are solved using
numerical methods alike. The mass transfer coefcients are calculated using analogy between the
thermal and concentration boundary layers. The results of previous studies are used for these coefcients
values. Green's function method has been used as a new simple method to solve equations of transport
problem. The heat and mass transfer equations are solved using Green's function method and taking
diffusion equation-related adjoint differential operator equal to Delta function. Of course, these equations are coupled with thermal diffusivity, because this parameter is a function of temperature and is
used in mass transfer equation. These two coupled equations were solved with a good approximation
which is a denition of a weighted function for moisture distribution. Thus, temperature and moisture
distributions within the body obtained as functions of x, y, z and an independent time variable t. After
these steps it is seen that there is a good consistency between the results and the existing solutions. The
prominent advantages of the proposed solution are techniques which are less time and money
consuming compared to numerical and experimental methods.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Convection drying
Heat and mass transfer
Analytical solution
Green's function method
Coupled heat and mass transfer

1. Introduction

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 98 9358185400; fax: 98 5138763304.


E-mail address: Abolfazl@um.ac.ir (J.A. Esfahani).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2015.04.016
1359-4311/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Vegetables and fruits often are composed of an average of 80%


water and thus are very deteriorative. Dehydration technique is the
most dated method to preserve foodstuff. The removal of the water

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

Nomenclature
A, B, C
D
G
g1, g2, g3
H
h
hm
k
L1, L2, L3
L'
L*
Le
M
n
q
T
t
U
X
x
Y
y
Z
z

coefcients of weighted function


moisture diffusivity, m2/s
total Green's function
moisture content with constant moisture diffusivity
Heaviside function
convective heat transfer coefcient, w/m2$K
convective mass transfer coefcient, m/s
thermal conductivity, w/m$K
lengths of moist object, m
original operator
adjoint operator
Lewis number
moisture content, kg water/kg dry comp
constant parameter
eigenfunction
temperature, K
time, s
velocity of drying air, m/s
Green's function in x-direction
x-direction, m
Green's function in y-direction
y-direction, m
Green's function in z-direction
z-direction, m

content prevents the growth and reproduction of micro-organisms


causing decay and minimizes the moisture-mediated deteriorative
reactions. It causes reduction in weight and volume of the product,
the packing is minimized with higher cost of storage and transportation. Thus, the products will be more storable under ambient
temperature. Therefore, it is important to determine the local
temperature and moisture content while the product is becoming
dry [1].
Given the real physics of drying process by convection method,
it is a complicated task to solve governing equation on the process.
Then it seems feasible to solve analytically only in a certain high
simple mode.
Garca-Alvarado et al. [2] studied a rigorous dimensionless
analysis of simultaneous heat and mass transfer equations. Their
solution was obtained by Laplace transform and complex inversion integral with space dependent function as initial conditions.
Their solution can be used in order to elucidate the effect of nonlinear interface relation and the effect of variable properties. In a
model presented by Hernandez et al. [3], one dimensional
assumption is used for the moist object. In order to nondimesionalizing, some parameters are used so that the body's
width is assumed to be variable. In the simplest model to take
the body's shrinkage into account, its width is a function of
moisture. Using this model and the superposition principle,
Hernandez et al. [3] reached a two dimensional solution.
Cordova-Quiroz et al. [4] presented a new one dimensional
analytical model. Their model is capable of predicting variations
of moisture content of the rectangular carrot. Of course, in their
model, the heat transfer equation is not solved. Therefore, the
change of shape of the moist object is neglected, because it is
dependent on stress and strain equations. In addition, mentioned
equations strongly depend on heat transfer and temperature
gradient. Pavon Melendez et al. [5] determined a nondimensional
solution to heat and mass transfer equations during drying
process. Using their solution and the values of effective

265

Greeks

a
d
q
4

x
h
z
t
l

thermal diffusivity, m2/s


Delta function
non-dimensional temperature
non dimensional moisture content
independent variable in Green's function
independent variable in Green's function
independent variable in Green's function
independent variable in Green's function
Eigenvalue

like x
like y
like z
like t

Subscripts
e
at equilibrium
i
at interphase
n1, m1
counter in x-direction
n 2 , m2
counter in y-direction
n 3 , m3
counter in z-direction
b
solid phase
g
air phase
0
initial condition
1, 2
for coefcient h in x-direction
3
for coefcient h in y-direction
4
for coefcient h in z-direction

free stream

parameters, the substance's behavior may be estimated. RuizLopez and Garcia [6] presented a one dimensional model to
predict the variation of moist object's moisture. They assumed
body's temperature to be constant during drying. However, in
mass transfer equation, the moisture diffusivity is taken into
account as a variable parameter and the effect of shrinkage is also
taken into account during drying. Simal et al. [7] and also Ben
Yoseph et al. [8] assumed the body's temperature to be constant
during the convective drying process, since Wu and Irudayaraj
[9] proved that convective drying process may be considered as
an isothermal process. Of course, this assumption is valid only
when the value of Biot number is small enough.
Barati and Esfahani [10e13] solved heat and mass transfer
equations one-dimensionally for various materials. They solved
these equations using Duhamel's integral, which contains
dependent boundary conditions. Other simplifying assumptions
are also pursued such as regular geometrics, symmetry, object to
be isotropic and inert, uniform moisture and temperature at the
rst.
In another paper, Esfahani et al. [14] executed a twodimensional analysis on the effect of the front face and back face
in drying process. At mentioned paper, thermal diffusivity parameter is assumed to be constant. Thus, heat and mass transfer
equations were separated into two equations and each solved by
method of separation of variables.
Green's functions are named after the British mathematician
George Green. He rst developed the method in 1830s. Many
believe that this method is too arduous. Therefore, students do not
refer to it mostly. In the present study it is tried to show the
contrast to the concept. Green's function method has not been
used so often in drying eld. Duffy [15] studied Green's function
with applications and offered a general mode of the Green's
function for various equations such as diffusion equation. About
solving transfer equations, the base of physical interpretation of
Green's function has a long association with heat transfer.

266

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

Therefore in mathematic point of view, the beauty of solving heat


and mass transfer equations using Green's function method is the
physical interpretation of Green's function. Also for a specic
equation, main structure of Green's function is unique and it's not
related to the boundary conditions and it can be used in future
studies.
Heat and mass transfer equations for two-dimensional and
three-dimensional objects are often solved by numerical analysis
during drying process. Analytical solutions are often onedimensional and they are used to determine the limits of suitable
numerical solutions and to ensure the accuracy of experimental
results. In mentioned solutions the impacts of differential heat
transfer and mass transfer on surface facing inlet and surface facing
outlet of the object being dried are ignored and the lumped
capacitance method is used with higher approximation. Green's
function method is a powerful method which is used for solving
linear partial differential equations as well as for nonhomogeneous two and three-dimensional equations while the
boundary conditions are time-dependent.
Since one-dimensional and two-dimensional solutions cannot
express the effects of difference between surfaces on drying process, the analytical solution is three-dimensional in the present
study for drying process. The results of Mohan and Talukdar's
research [16] are used for convective heat and mass transfer coefcients. Green's function method has been used to present a
new simple method to solve equations of transport problem. In
present study, thermal diffusivity parameter is assumed to be
function of time. As a result, heat and mass transfer equations are
coupled. In order to solve this system of differential equations
with partial derivatives, a weight function dened for moisture
content and a good approximation gained for the system. Temperature and moisture content distribution are obtained in functional forms because of using an analytical solution for transport
problem in internal state of moist object. The ndings wellcomplied with numerical and experimental data of Mohan and
Talukdar's research [16]. Thus, it is obtained appropriate solutions
for engineering purposes with acceptable accuracy using less cost
and time.

during drying process assuming the same aspect ratio. Object is


placed inside a channel with 0.6 m  0.2 m  0.2 m dimensions.
The center of the object is congruous with the center of the
channel.
A three-dimensional unsteady state mathematical model is
developed to analyze heat and mass transfer through diffusion
within the moist object and some assumptions are determined as
follows: (i) moisture content is not dependent to thermophysical properties of the moist object, (ii) insignicant
shrinkage or deformation in moist object during drying, (iii)
insignicant heat generation inside the moist object, (iv) insignicant radiation effect and (v) insignicant changes in density
of moist object.
Moisture of a solid body can be bound moisture or unbound
moisture. In order to separate unbound moisture in convective
drying, evaporation happens. However, in separating bound
moisture, conduction heat transfer within the body is the most
important factor. In fact, if the drying body's pores are high, it can
be said that heat and mass transfer will be continuous in it and will
occur by diffusion mechanism [1]. Because of this, in some studies
[16e19] like study of Mohan and Talukdar [16], the evaporation
effects are neglected because in their moist object, the amount of
unbound moisture is less than bound moisture. This assumption is
considered in the present study.
The physical properties of moist object are represented in
Table 1. The following governing three-dimensional heat and mass
transfer equations regarding above assumptions can be written as
follows:

2. Mathematical model

Tx; y; z; tjt0 T0

(3)

Mx; y; z; tjt0 M0

(4)

Fig. 1 demonstrates the schematic domain of solution, with


the corresponding boundary conditions. The sizes of the moist
object are 0.08 m  0.02 m  0.02 m. Aspect ratio (AR) is dened
as proportion of the length of the moist object along the ow
direction (x-direction) to the width of the moist object perpendicular to the ow direction (y or z-direction). Here, we adopt
AR 4 since the object in industry is often subjected to hot air

1 vT v2 T v2 T v2 T
2 2 2
a vt
vx
vy
vz

(1)

1 vM v2 M v2 M v2 M

2 2
D vt
vx2
vy
vz

(2)

The initial conditions are:

The boundary conditions are:




vTx; y; z; t
h1 Tjx0  Tg

vx
x0

(5)





vMbi x; y; z; t
hm1 Mgi x0  Mg
D

vx
x0

(6)

Table 1
Physical properties of moist object. (Mohan and Talukdar [16]).

Fig. 1. Moist object is subjected to convective drying.

Properties

Values

Thermal conductivity, k
Thermal diffusivity, a
Initial moisture content, M0
Initial temperature,T0
Moisture content in supplied air, M
Temperature of drying air, T

0.589 W/(m K)
3.488  107 m2/s
7.196 kg/kg (db)
295 K
0.0196 kg/kg of dry air
333 K

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

k




vTx; y; z; t
h2 TjxL1  Tg

vx
xL1

(7)


vMbi x; y; z; t

vx

(8)

D

xL1




hm2 Mgi xL  Mg
1




vTx; y; z; t
h3 Tjy0  Tg

vy
y0





vMbi x; y; z; t
hm3 Mgi y0  Mg

vy
y0

k

(10)




vTx; y; z; t
h3 TjyL2  Tg

vy
yL2

(11)





vMbi x; y; z; t
hm3 Mgi yL  Mg

2
vy
yL2

(12)

D

(9)




vTx; y; z; t
h4 Tjz0  Tg

vz
z0

(13)





vMbi x; y; z; t
hm4 Mgi z0  Mg

vz
z0

(14)




vTx; y; z; t
h4 TjzL3  Tg
k

vz
zL3

D





vMbi x; y; z; t
hm4 Mgi zL  Mg

3
vz
zL3

qx; y; z; t

Tx; y; z; t  T0
T  T0

(19)

4x; y; z; t

Mx; y; z; t  Me
M0  Me

(20)

Indeed, in this diverse forms in Eq. (19) and Eq. (20) for
dimensionless quantities, variable q represents ascendant function and 4 represents a descendant function demonstrating the
same increasing temperature and moisture reduction, respectively. Eq. (1) can be rewritten along these lines after denition of
q:

(15)

where a is the thermal diffusivity and D is the moisture diffusivity. The correct dependent variable in mass transfer equation
is the volumetric concentration of water and Eq. (2) is obtained
based on the assumption of constant moist object's density. In
most papers [16e18], Arrhenius equation is used to calculate
parameter D:



1119
m2
; D0 2:41  107
D D0 exp 
T
s

Note that D and a are moisture diffusivity and thermal diffusivity, respectively. Lewis number (Le) indicates the ratio between
thermal and concentration boundary layer thicknesses. For most
applications, n is considered 1/3 [20]. Then average convective heat
and mass transfer coefcient rates for each surfaces of moist object
are evaluated by taking a weighted average of the local heat and
mass transfer coefcients.
Table 2 renders average convective heat and mass transfer
coefcients for all surfaces and inlet velocities. The rates ranges
from 2.73 W/m2K to 23.07 W/m2K for heat transfer coefcients
and from 5.3  107 m/s to 4.51  106 m/s for mass transfer
coefcients.
It is decided using Green's function method (GFM) [15,21,22] to
solve heat transfer equation (Eq. (1)) and mass transfer equation
(Eq. (2)). Dimensionless temperature and moisture content for
those equations are dened along these lines:

L0 q 0; L0

(16)

(17)

267

v
 aV2
vt

(21)

where L0 is the original differential operator.


Given that operator L0 is one-dimensional in x-direction, after
integration of XL0 q expression in solution domain of by using
integration by parts, nally it is attained following expression:

XL0 q ds

ZL1 
Xqj
0

Zt
t
L1
dx
dt
 aXqx  Xx qj
0
0
0

(22)

v
v2
qL X ds; L   a 2
vt
vx
*

where X indicates Green's function in x-direction and ds indicates


the differential element in solution domain which is here equal to
dx  dt and L* represents the adjoint differential operator related to
the original differential operator. The expression L*X is made equal
to Delta function:

3. Solution procedure

L* X dx  x; t  t

(23)

To solve the previous section's equations, values of h and hm


must be determined for the moisture body. In present study, data
from Mohan and Talukdar [16] is used for values of h. Average
convective mass transfer coefcient was evaluated based on
convective heat transfer coefcient using analogy between the
thermal and concentration boundary layers.

where x and t are variables of Green's function.


Eq. (22) can be rewritten one-dimensionally by taking L*X equal
to Delta function in it and using Delta function features and
substituting Eq. (21) in it as follows:



DLen
hm h
k

qx; t 

ZL1 
(18)

Xqj
0


Zt

 L
t
dx 
 a Xqx  Xx q  1 dt
0
0
0

(24)

268

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

For solving Eq. (24) in order to obtain q, initially Green's function


must be determined. This function is attained by solving Eq. (23). By
making Laplace transform on Eq. (23), the equation is written in the
form of Sturm-Liouville equation which can be solved using
method of eigenfunction expansions. After these operations,
Green's function is attained in x-direction [15]:

X Ht  t
An1

P
n1 1

tanln2 L2

2h3 kln2

(27)

k2 l2n2  h23

h
i
An1 exp  al2n1 t  t qn1 xqn1 x ;

!




a1n1
h1 h2 2
h1 h2
h h 2
4
2

; a1n1 2ln1 2ln1


2 2
;
2 12 2
a2n1 a3n1
k
k
k
!
!
!
h21 L1
h1 h2 h21
h31 h2 h1 h2
h
2
4
2
a ; a3n1 ln1 ln1
; qn1 x ln1 cosln1 x 1 sinln1 x
4
a2n1 ln1 2
2 1n1
k
k
k
k2
k
(25)

Table 2
Average convective heat and mass transfer coefcients.
h(w/m2K)

Surface

Facing inlet
Facing outlet
Top
Bottom
South
North

hm(m/s)  106

U 0.1 m/s

U 0.2 m/s

U 0.3 m/s

U 0.1 m/s

U 0.2 m/s

U 0.3 m/s

14.07
2.73
5.31
5.31
5.85
5.85

19.24
4.15
6.37
6.37
7.13
7.13

23.07
4.88
7.05
7.05
8.03
8.03

2.75
0.53
1.04
1.04
1.14
1.14

3.76
0.81
1.25
1.25
1.39
1.39

4.51
0.95
1.38
1.38
1.57
1.57

where H(t  t) denotes Heaviside function and ln1 is calculated


from this relation:

tanln1 L1

h1 h2 kln1

(26)

k2 l2n1  h1 h2

The Eq. (26) is an implicit equation which has no analytical solution. There is a tangent expression at the left side of the equation
with p/L1 period. The left hand side expression is intersected by the
right hand side expression once at each p/L1. Hence, ln1 is in the nth
positive p/L1. The rst twenty ln1 are attained using numerical
method and Maple 17.02 software.
Similar to Eq. (25) can be obtained for Green's function in ydirection
and
z-direction
where
X; n1 ; An1 ; a1n1 ; a2n1 ; a3n1 ; ln1 ; x; x; h1 ; h2 and L1 are replaced with
Y; n2 ; An2 ; a1n2 ; a2n2 ; a3n2 ; ln2 ; y; h; h3 ; h3 and L2 for y-direction and
Z; n3 ; An3 ; a1n3 ; a2n3 ; a3n3 ; ln3 ; z; z; h4 ; h4 and L3 for z-direction,
respectively. ln2 ; ln3 are also calculated based on these expressions:

tanln3 L3

2h4 kln3

(28)

k2 l2n3  h24

Four eigenvalues related to counters 1 to 4, are listed in Table 3


for several inlet velocities.
Overall Green's function can be attained through multiplying
Green's function in x-direction by Green's function in y-direction
and Green's function in z-direction:

G X$Y$Z

(29)

As a matter of fact, Green's function is a variant of the original


function and here it is a variant of temperature distribution. Indeed,
in t t a thermal source operates straightway with a unit strength
at x x and Green's function claries how temperature is distributed at t > t, whether physically possible or not [22]. Thus in
Green's function we have Heaviside function (H(t  t)) which
equals to 1 in t > t while we have H(t  t) 0 in t < t. By

Table 3
Four eigenvalues related to counters 1 to 4 for several inlet velocities.
Counter

1
2
3
4

ln1

ln2

ln3

U (m/s)

U (m/s)

U (m/s)

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.1

0.2

0.3

15.86
46.45
82.75
120.73

18.00
48.48
84.21
121.81

19.08
49.67
85.14
122.52

29.58
162.62
317.00
473.14

32.30
163.68
317.56
473.52

33.91
164.35
317.92
473.76

31.00
163.16
317.29
473.34

34.11
164.43
317.96
473.79

36.09
165.30
318.44
474.11

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

substituting Eq. (29) in Eq. (24) and after simplifying, q can be


obtained at last:

(
qx; y; z; t 1 

P
n1 1

Bn1

(


P
n3 1

269

In the present body, the weight function is a polynomial with


order 2. Hence, there are three functions to be determined in three

9 8
9

= < X





h
h
exp  al2n1 t ln1 cosln1 x 1 sinln1 x

Bn2 exp  al2n2 t ln2 cosln2 y 3 sinln2 y
; :
;
k
k
n 1
Bn3

=


h
exp  al2n3 t ln3 cosln3 z 4 sinln3 z ;
;
k

h
Bn1 An1 sinln1 L1  1 cosln1 L1  1 ;
kln1

h
Bn2 An2 sinln2 L2  3 cosln2 L2  1 ;
kln2

h
Bn3 An3 sinln3 L3  4 cosln3 L3  1
kln3
(30)

According to Eq. (17), the parameter D in Eq. (2) is a function of


temperature. Thus, Eq. (2) may not be solved solely by this
method. Consequently, Eq. (30) should be substituted into Eq. (2).
It is clear that there is not any analytical solution to such a
problem. It is known that D is a function of four variables
including x, y, z and t. For simplicity, the values of x, y, z are
assumed to be equal to the midpoint of the moisture body. As a
result, the parameter D will be solely a function of t. To prevent
sophisticated calculations, an approximation should be considered to solve the problem. In such cases, usually the method of
averaging is used, which is a good approximation. A better
method is weight functions approximation. Unlike the previous
method, this approximation has exact solution. To this end, rst
we solve Eq. (2) similar to Eq. (1):

(
4x; y; z; t

P
m1 1

(

(


Bm1

different conditions. To this end, Eq. (31) is obtained with three


different D:
a. Parameter D is calculated using temperature of the body at the
end of the process (T 333 K) and Eq. (17). Eq. (31) is obtained
based on this calculation and is named g3. Plotting this function
for each point of the body in terms of time, we see that this
function will converge after 30000 s.
b. Parameter D is calculated using temperature of the body at the
beginning of the process (T 295 K) and Eq. (17). Eq. (31) is
obtained based on this calculation and is named g1.
c. Regarding part a, parameter D is calculated in half of the nal
time (t 15,000 s). Eq. (31) is obtained based on this calculation
and is named g2.

=


hm1
2
sinlm1 x
exp  Dlm1 t lm1 coslm1 x
;
D

P
m2 1

P
m3 1

Bm2

Bm3

=


hm3
2
sinlm2 y
exp  Dlm2 t lm2 coslm2 y
;
D
9

=


hm4
2
sinlm3 z ;
exp  Dlm3 t lm3 coslm3 z
;
D

h
Bm1 Am1 sinlm1 L1  m1 coslm1 L1  1 ;
Dlm1

h
Bm2 Am2 sinlm2 L2  m3 coslm2 L2  1 ;
Dlm2

h
Bm3 Am3 sinlm3 L3  m4 coslm3 L3  1
Dlm3

(31)

270

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

Fig. 2. Steps of the process of the GFM and weighted functions method in brief.

Fig. 3. The impact of changes in the nal counter and summation of dimensionless
temperature convergence test for the central point of the moist object (U 0.3 m/s).

Fig. 4. The impact of changes in the nal counter and summation of dimensionless
moisture content convergence test for the central point of the moist object (U 0.3 m/s).

Fig. 5. Change of (a) temperature and (b) non dimensional moisture content during
the drying and compare it with data from Mohan and Talukdar research [16].

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

271

Fig. 6. Slices of (aed) temperature and (eeh) moisture content within the moist object.

In fact, g1, g2 and g3 are the moisture content distribution within


the object at the beginning, middle and the end of the process,
respectively. Using these three moisture content distribution,
dimensionless weighted mean function of moisture content was
obtained during the whole process:
2

4 At Bt C;

(32)

4jt0 g1

(33)

4jt15000 g2

(34)

4jt30000 g3

(35)

Substituting Eqs. 33e35 on Eq. (32), coefcients A, B, C were

obtained. Finally, the dimensionless moisture content was


obtained.

t2
4:5  108
t
g1
4g2  g3  3g1
30000

4x; y; z; t g1 g3  2g2

(36)

In Eqs. (30) and (31), ln1 and lm1 are eigenvalues in x-direction,
ln2 and lm2 are eigenvalues in y-direction and ln3 and lm3 are eigenvalues in z-direction. An1 ; An2 ; An3 ; Am1 ; Am2 and Am3 are calculated by normalization of their corresponding eigenfunctions.
In Fig. 2, the sequences of steps that summarize the process of
the application of this method are presented as a ow chart. The
green area (in the web version) in Fig. 2 is related to Green's
function method that is common for solving heat transfer and mass

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Fig. 7. Temperature contours within the moist object at (a) t* 0.00218, (b) t* 0.0218, (c) t* 0.218.

transfer equations and the outside area is related to the weighted


functions to considering the variations of moisture diffusivity.
4. Results and discussion
Temperature and moisture content distributions within the
object are analytically obtained using convective heat and mass

transfer coefcients. Temperature and moisture content place (x, y


and z directions) and depend on time. Temperature and moisture
content distributions are measured for three inlet velocities individually (0.1 m/s, 0.2 m/s and 0.3 m/s). Initial conditions of moist
object are supposed to be as follows: T0 295 K and M0 7.196 kg/
kg (db).

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273

Fig. 8. Moisture content contours within the moist object at (a) t* 0.01635, (b) t* 0.1635, (c) t* 1.635.

Non-dimensional parameters are used to reect more handily


on the results achieved and variables with less effectiveness. The
non-dimensions are dened along these lines: non-dimensional
distance is dened as x* x/L1, y* y/L1,z* z/L1, Nondimensional time is dened as t* at/L2. Thus, as it is dened
above x*2[0,1], y*2[0,0.25] and z*2[0,0.25].

All the gures of this section are drawn using


MATLAB Version 7.11.0.584 (R2010b).As it is obvious from the Eqs.
(30) and (31), each equation has three sigma in the range (1  ). In
each sigma for each number from range (1  ), an eigenvalue is
required. Since Eq. (26)e(28) do not have analytical answers, It is
impossible to get a global answer for all numbers in the range

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J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

(1  ). Hence, 20 positive and common initial answers are


assumed for each eigenvalue. Figs. 3 and 4 are represented for the
center of moist object (U 0.3 m/s) and the nal counter amounts
to 4, 8 and 16 to check whether 20 initial eigenvalues are sufcient
or not and to assure that the answers converge as the nal counter
rises. Fig. 3 illustrates changes of non-dimensional temperature and
Fig. 4 demonstrates changes of non-dimensional moisture content
in non-dimensional time.
As Fig. 3 illustrates, the curves can be separated into two
parts: (t* < 0.02 and t* > 0.02). The part t* > 0.02 is similar for the
nal counter n1 & n2 & n3 4, 8 and 16. But in the part t* < 0.02,
with rise of n1, n2 and n3, the solution is closer to its real rate
such that non-dimensional temperature at t* 0 for n1 & n2 &
n3 4 is almost 0.037 and it is 0.001 for n1 & n2 & n3 16
demonstrated answer convergence to the real rate when nal
counter rises.

Fig. 9. Variation of (a) non-dimensional temperature and (b) non-dimensional moisture content along the central line of object with constant x and z.

Fig. 4 also contains two parts but the borderline rate for these
two parts is t* 0.2 dividing them into t* < 0.2 and t* > 0.2. Like
Fig. 3, in the part where t* > 0.2 is the same for all amounts of m1,
m2 and m3 but in t* < 0.2 when nal counter of m1, m2 and m3
increases, non-dimensional moisture content converges to its real
rate.
Fig. 5 illustrates validation of the present study based on data
from Mohan and Talukdar research [16]. The gures represent
time-depended (a) temperature and (b) non-dimensional moisture
content. Inlet ow conditions are U 0.3 m/s and T 333 K.
Maximum relative error based on experimental data for temperature and non-dimensional moisture content are 7.7% and 9.7%
respectively. These error rates are reliable for engineering applications owing to analytical solution, using less time and lower cost
than numerical methods and there is a good suitability among the
results.
By comparing temperature and moisture curves, it is clear that
the effect of heat transfer spread in the moist object more quickly
than moisture transfer. Thus, temperature curves change earlier
than non-dimensional moisture content curves. The same is
obvious for temperature convergence to hot air temperature such
that temperature converges to its nal rate quicker than moisture
content. Indeed, this quick convergence of temperature is owing to
higher heat transfer rate than mass transfer rate or the well-known
Lewis number being higher than 1 (Le a/D > 1). Fig. 5 also illustrates that at rst, temperature and moisture content changes
are higher and gradually the change is lower owing to approaching
temperature and moisture content of the moist object to the hot air
temperature and moisture content. Consequently, the gradient of
temperature and moisture gradually decreases and thus transfer of
heat and mass reduces.
As stated before, the advantage of solving Eq. (2) using weight
function approximation is that it has exact solution at the selected
points. According to Fig. 5(b), it can be seen that the results of
present study at t 0 s and t 30,000 s are more consistent with
the experimental results. As explained in section 3, these points are
included in selected points. Of course, t 15,000 s is one of the
selected points, but as it can be seen, in this point results are
deviated from experimental data. Noticing experimental results, it
can be seen that after t 10,000 s measured values for non
dimensional moisture content are decreased slightly and this might
be the reason of difference between obtained results and experimental data.
Fig. 6 is drawn to present better understanding of temperature
and moisture distributions during drying process. This gure shows
temperature distribution (aed) and moisture distribution (eeh) in
different slices and times. Part (b) and (f) are drawn for nondimensional times 0.218 and 1,635, respectively. As can be seen,
in these two parts, range of temperature and moisture are (332.1,
332.7) and (0.22, 0.29), respectively, such that high temperature
and low moisture is related to the front face (as a result of direct
collision between drying ow and front face). In similar slices, but
in a time equal to 10% of the time considered for parts (b) and (f)
(parts (a) and (e)), range of temperature and moisture are (305, 317)
and (2.4, 5.1), respectively, which are far greater than range of parts
(b) and (f). In fact, in parts (b) and (f), temperature and moisture
have reached their limit and therefore, range of variation is low.
However, in parts (a) and (e), the process has not reached to its nal
condition yet. So the ranges of variation in different slices are high.
Parts (c) and (g) are drawn for slice which contains two lines
y* z* 0 and y* z* 0.25. As it can be seen, in these two parts,
temperature and moisture contours are symmetrical with respect
to line y* z* 0.125. The reason is that the body is geometrically
symmetrical with respect to this line. This symmetry is also seen in
parts (d) and (h). These two parts are drawn for slice which

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

275

Fig. 10. Variation of (a) non-dimensional temperature and (b) non-dimensional


moisture content on the central line of object with constant y and z.

contains two lines x* z* 0 and x* 4z* 1 and contours on the


slice, are symmetrical with respect to the line x* 4z* 0.5.
Figs. 7(aec) and 8(aec) illustrate temperature and moisture
content contours within the moist object (z* 0.125) over time in
order to give a better vision of how temperature and moisture
content are distributed inside the moist object during drying process. The contours demonstrate temperature and moisture content
distribution under impact of inlet ow (U 0.3 m/s). The parts a, b
and c of Fig. 7 are represented for dimensionless time 0.00218,
0.0218 and 0.218 respectively and these parts of Fig. 8 are represented for dimensionless time 0.01635, 0.1635 and 1.635 respectively. The temperature of moist object rises and its moisture
content decreases over time, because there is gradients for temperature and moisture content between moist object surface and
hot air. As a result of diverse vapor pressures between the surface of
moist object and drying hot air, the moisture of moist object is
transferred to the hot air in form of vapor.
Fig. 7(ac) shows that geometrical centers of temperature
contours and object are not coincided and it is closer to the back

Fig. 11. Effect of inlet ow velocity on (a) dimensionless temperature and (b)
dimensionless moisture content within the moist object and the central point of
object.

surface. This center proceeds towards back surface progressively


over time farther than front surface. This dissymmetry is owing to
unparallel and dissymmetrical pattern of heat transfer between
front surface and back surface. Temperature in front surface is
higher owing to its higher heat transfer compared to back surface at
a certain time. In fact, the temperature of front surface converges at
hot air more quickly due to its higher heat transfer rate. For
instance, as Fig. 7(a) shows, the closest temperature contour to
front surface is 300 K and the closest one to back surface is 296 K.
The temperatures in the corners are higher owing to their higher
heat transfer. For instance, in Fig. 7(a) the temperature for back
surface near the central line is 296 K and it is 298 K in the corners.
In Figs. 7(a) and 8(a) with lower time than Figs. 7(b,c) and 8(b,c),
no great change in the temperature and moisture content is available for central regions of the object (lacking too many contours)

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J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

because heat and mass transfer effects are not received at the
center of the object. By comparing Figs. 7(a) and 8(a), it is evident
that the temperature change inside object is higher than moisture
content change in a certain time. In fact, the effect of temperature
change is transferred more quickly inside the object than mass
transfer effects because the Lewis number is higher than one. In
Fig. 7(c) temperature range is 332.15 Ke332.6 K. Whole object has
almost reached to T but at the same time still moisture content
inside the object differs greatly with hot air moisture content. Also
x* 0.7 in Fig. 7(c) at t* 0.218 is for geometrical center of temperature contours but x* 0.7 in Fig. 8(c) at t* 1.635 is for
moisture content contours. It is because of higher rate of heat
transfer compared to moisture transfer rate and the Lewis number
is higher than one.
In Fig. 9(a, b), it can be seen non-dimensional temperature and
non-dimensional moisture content vary on the central line of object with constant x and z while ow impacts with inlet velocity
U 0.3 m/s. The non-dimensional temperature and moisture
content change takes place in ve points of this line. Here are the
values of y-axis coordinates of the points: 0 m, 0.005 m, 0.01 ,
0.015 m and 0.02 m. Seemingly three curves have been plotted for
non-dimensional temperature and moisture content in Fig. 9(a, b).
In fact, no discrimination is possible between curve for y 0 m and
y 0.02 m or between curve for y 0.005 m and curve for
y 0.015 m due to equality between convection heat transfer coefcient on the upper and lower surfaces. The curves are coincident
because average heat and mass transfer coefcients are equal in top
and bottom surfaces as it is evident in Table 2. These illustrations
are symmetrical to the plane y* 0.125.
When the points on the object at y 0.02 m and y 0 m are
compared to the point y 0.01 m at the center of the object, it is
seen that curves related to the points on the object converge more
rapidly to nal condition and they come up against a severe alteration at beginning of drying process because they are subjected to
air ow. But the curve related to the point at the center of the object
is perpendicular to the vertical axis at rst, and then it is inuenced
by heat and mass transfer just receiving and there occurs greater
change in the related curve. However, since heat transfer rate is
higher than mass transfer rate, alteration in curve for nondimensional temperature at central point occurs more rapidly
than alteration in curve for non-dimensional moisture content.
Fig. 10(a, b) illustrates curves for non-dimensional temperature
and moisture content at central line inside the object while y and z
are constant. These curves are plotted for inlet velocity U 0.3 m/
s. There is a prominent difference between the curve for x 0 m
and the curves for other points since the curve for this point
converges more rapidly at the nal rate and at the beginning there
is a capricious change in dimensionless temperature and moisture
content for this point because of direct effect of drying air ow on
this point and heat and mass transfer start from this point from
the rst stage. Curves of non-dimensional temperature with
x 0.02 m and x 0.08 m among the others are the same. Also
curves for the point with x 0.04 m and x 0.06 m are similar to
each other. At the start of the process, the points close to the
surface in mentioned curves with x 0.08 m and x 0.06 m have
higher temperature but the temperature in the points with
x 0.02 m and x 0.04 m are higher compared to other points
with similar curve while they receive the effect of heat transfer
into the object progressively. The moisture content curve for point
with x 0.04 m and the moisture content curve for point with
x 0.06 m are the same as well but the resemblance is less than
temperature curves. The curves for points with x 0.02 m and
x 0.08 m have no sameness. At the beginning, the points close to
the surface of the object such as x 0.06 m and x 0.08 m lose
higher moisture similar to temperature curves. Although the

internal points receive the effect of mass transfer, this time the
curves for the points near to the surface of object have lower
moisture. Only the curve for point with x 0.02 m can intersect
the curve of point with x 0.08 m, though two other curves get
closer to the curves of mentioned points. Because of change of
heat and mass transfer rates, the curves for temperature and
moisture content differ. In fact, despite thermal diffusivity effect,
the water diffusivity is not able to compensate the impact of initial
mass transfer in points near to the surface for internal points and
all in all, convective mass transfer has more impact than mass
transfer by conduction.
Fig. 11(a, b) shows the effect of inlet ow velocity on (a)
dimensionless temperature and (b) dimensionless moisture content within the moist object and the central point of object. As inlet
velocity raises, convective heat and mass transfer coefcients in
surface increase. As a result, temperature and moisture content
inside the object converge at nal rates more rapidly. Therefore,
inlet ow velocity increase results in drying period decrease, and
causes a relation which is semi-linear. For example, in the case of
curves for dimensionless moisture content, when inlet ow velocity increases 100% (from 0.1 m/s to 0.2 m/s), dimensionless
moisture content at t* 0.53 decreases 18.4% (from 0.38 to 0.31).
However, when inlet ow velocity increases 50% (from 0.2 m/s to
0.3 m/s), dimensionless moisture content decreases only 9.7% (from
0.31 to 0.28). This semi-linear relation between increase of velocity
and decrease of dimensionless moisture content is due to laminar
ow at these velocities.

5. Conclusions
Using Green's function method, a three-dimensional analytical
solution is performed to measure distribution of temperature and
moisture content inside moist object. In order to solve heat and
mass transfer equations simultaneously, weighted functions
approximation was used. This method has exact solution at
selected point, unlike the averaging method. The results of Mohan
and Talukdar's research [16] are used for convective heat and mass
transfer coefcients for different surfaces of moist object. These
solutions are obtained for three inlet ow velocities 0.1 m/s, 0.2 m/s
and 0.3 m/s. The results in brief are:
 This solution illustrated the simplicity of the Green's function to
solve heat and mass transfer problems using laboratory equipment for data entry without any necessity to complicated numerical methods. Gained results are well consistent with
experimental and numerical data, and they are acceptable for
engineering application. In addition, it is cheaper and less time
consuming.
 In coupled equations, weighted functions approximation and
solution of equations (assuming constant variables), can be used
to interfere the effect of variables into solution with a reasonable
approximation.
 Due to thermal diffusivity and moisture diffusivity difference
(Le > 1), geometrical center of temperature and moisture have
different shift rates. Geometrical center of temperature contours
shift more than those for moisture content such that geometrical center of temperature contours reaches at x* 0.7 when
dimensionless time is t* 0.218 but the latter reaches at x* 0.7
when dimensionless time is t* 1.635.
 Heat and mass transfer rates for surface facing inlet is higher
than for points on other surfaces. For instance, when we
compare the points on the central line with y and z as a constant,
the closest point to the front face inside the object at x 0.02 m
at the beginning of the process, converge more rapidly to the

J.A. Esfahani et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 85 (2015) 264e277

nal state in comparison to other points on the same line and


inside the object.
 As velocity increases, the moisture content decreases. In other
words, with 100% increase of inlet ow velocity of 0.1 m/s, the
percentage of decrease in dimensionless moisture content is
18.4% at t* 0.53 and 50% increase of the inlet ow velocity of
0.2 m/s, results in 9.7% decrease in dimensionless moisture
content t* 0.53.
Acknowledgment
This work was supported by Ofce of the Vice Chancellor for
Research, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Grant 28517.
Appendix A. Supplementary data
Supplementary data related to this article can be found at http://
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2015.04.016.
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