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# Chapter 2:

## Heat Conduction Equation

Yoav Peles
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.
Objectives
When you finish studying this chapter, you should be able to:
• Understand multidimensionality and time dependence of heat transfer,
and the conditions under which a heat transfer problem can be
approximated as being one-dimensional,
• Obtain the differential equation of heat conduction in various
coordinate systems, and simplify it for steady one-dimensional case,
• Identify the thermal conditions on surfaces, and express them
mathematically as boundary and initial conditions,
• Solve one-dimensional heat conduction problems and obtain the
temperature distributions within a medium and the heat flux,
• Analyze one-dimensional heat conduction in solids that involve heat
generation, and
• Evaluate heat conduction in solids with temperature-dependent
thermal conductivity.
2.1. Introduction
• Although heat transfer and temperature are
closely related, they are of a different nature.
• Temperature has only magnitude
it is a scalar quantity.
• Heat transfer has direction as well as magnitude
it is a vector quantity.
• We work with a coordinate system and indicate
direction with plus or minus signs.
• The driving force for any form of heat transfer is the
temperature difference.

## • Three prime coordinate systems:

– rectangular (T(x, y, z, t))
– cylindrical (T(r, φ, z, t)) – spherical (T(r, φ, θ, t)).
Classification of conduction heat transfer problems:

## • steady versus transient heat transfer,

• multidimensional heat transfer,
• heat generation.
• Steady implies no change with time at any point
within the medium

## • Transient implies variation with time or time

dependence
Multi-dimensional Heat Transfer
• Heat transfer problems are also classified as
being:
– one-dimensional,
– two dimensional,
– three-dimensional.

## • In the most general case, heat transfer through a

medium is three-dimensional. However, some
problems can be classified as two- or one-
dimensional depending on the relative
magnitudes of heat transfer rates in different
directions and the level of accuracy desired.
• The rate of heat conduction through a medium in
a specified direction (say, in the x-direction) is
expressed by Fourier’s law of heat conduction
for one-dimensional heat conduction as:

 dT
Qcond = − kA (W) (2-1)
dx

## • Heat is conducted in the direction

of decreasing temperature, and
thus the temperature gradient is negative
when heat is conducted in the positive x-direction.
General Relation for Fourier’s Law of Heat
Conduction
• The heat flux vector at a point P on the surface of the
figure must be perpendicular to the surface, and it must
point in the direction of decreasing temperature
• If n is the normal of the
isothermal surface at point P,
the rate of heat conduction at
that point can be expressed by
Fourier’s law as

 dT
Qn = − kA (W) (2-2)
dn
• In rectangular coordinates, the heat conduction
vector can be expressed in terms of its components as
G G G G
Q n = Q x i + Q y j + Q z k (2-3)

## • which can be determined from Fourier’s law as

⎧ ∂T
⎪Qx = − kAx ∂x

⎪ ∂T
⎨Qy = −kAy (2-4)
⎪ ∂y
⎪ ∂T

⎪Qz = −kAz
⎩ ∂z
Heat Generation

• Examples:
– electrical energy being converted to heat at a rate
of I2R,
– fuel elements of nuclear reactors,
– exothermic chemical reactions.

## • The rate of heat generation units : W/m3 or Btu/h · ft3.

• The rate of heat generation in a medium may vary
with time as well as position within the medium.

## • The total rate of heat generation in a medium of

volume V can be determined from

## E gen = ∫ egen dV (W) (2-5)

V
六個面均可簡化考慮為one-
dimensional problem !
2.2 One-Dimensional Heat Conduction Equation
- (i) Plane Wall
Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of change of
conduction - conduction + generation inside = the energy content
at x at x+∆x the element of the element

∆Eelement
Q x −Q x +∆x + E gen,element =
∆t
(2-6)
   ∆Eelement
Qx − Qx+∆x + Egen,element = (2-6)
∆t

## • The change in the energy content and the rate of heat

generation can be expressed as
⎪ Eelement = Et +∆t − Et = mc (Tt +∆t − Tt ) = ρcA∆x (Tt +∆t − Tt ) (2-7)
⎧∆
⎨
⎪⎩Egen,element = egenVelement = egen A∆x (2-8)

## • Substituting into Eq. 2–6, we get

  Tt +∆t − Tt (2-9)
+ 
Qx − Qx+∆x gen
e A∆x = ρcA∆x
∆t
• Dividing by A∆x, taking the limit as ∆xÆ 0 and ∆tÆ 0,
and from Fourier’s law:
1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂T
⎜ kA + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c (2-11)
A ∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂t
The area A is constant for a plane wall Æ the one dimensional
transient heat conduction equation in a plane wall is
∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂T
Variable conductivity: ⎜k + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c (2-13)
∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂t
∂ 2T egen 1 ∂T k
Constant conductivity: + = ; α= (2-14)
∂x 2
k α ∂t ρc
The one-dimensional conduction equation may be reduces
to the following forms under special conditions
d 2T egen
+ =0 (2-15)
dx k
∂ 2T 1 ∂T
2) Transient, no heat generation: = (2-16)
∂x 2
α ∂t
d 2T
3) Steady-state, no heat generation: 2
=0 (2-17)
dx
One-Dimensional Heat Conduction Equation
– (ii) Long Cylinder

## Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of change of

conduction - conduction + generation inside = the energy content
at r at r+∆r the element of the element

   ∆E
Qr −Qr +∆r + Egen,element = element
∆t
(2-18)
   ∆Eelement
Qr − Qr +∆r + Egen,element = (2-18)
∆t
• The change in the energy content and the rate of heat
generation can be expressed as
⎪ Eelement = Et +∆t − Et = mc (Tt +∆t − Tt ) = ρcA∆r (Tt +∆t − Tt ) (2-19)
⎧∆
⎨
⎪⎩Egen,element = egenVelement = egen A∆r (2-20)

## • Substituting into Eq. 2–18, we get

  Tt +∆t − Tt (2-21)
+ 
Qr − Qr +∆r gen
e A∆r = ρcA∆r
∆t
• Dividing by A∆r, taking the limit as ∆rÆ 0 and ∆tÆ 0,
and from Fourier’s law:
1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂T
⎜ kA + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c (2-23)
A ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ ∂t
Noting that the area varies with the independent variable r
according to A=2πrL, the one dimensional transient heat
conduction equation in a plane wall becomes
1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂T (2-25)
Variable conductivity: ⎜ rk + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c
r ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ ∂t
1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ egen 1 ∂T
Constant conductivity: ⎜r ⎟+ = (2-26)
r ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ k α ∂t
The one-dimensional conduction equation may be reduces
to the following forms under special conditions
1 d ⎛ dT ⎞ egen
1) Steady-state: ⎜r ⎟+ = 0 (2-27)
r dr ⎝ dr ⎠ k
1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ 1 ∂T
2) Transient, no heat generation: ⎜r ⎟= (2-28)
r ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ α ∂t
d ⎛ dT ⎞
3) Steady-state, no heat generation: ⎜r ⎟=0 (2-29)
dr ⎝ dr ⎠
One-Dimensional Heat Conduction Equation
- (iii) Sphere

1 ∂ ⎛ 2 ∂T ⎞ ∂T
⎜r k + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c (2-30)
Variable conductivity: r ∂r ⎝
2
∂r ⎠ ∂t
1 ∂ ⎛ 2 ∂T ⎞ egen 1 ∂T
Constant conductivity: ⎜r ⎟+ = (2-31)
r ∂r ⎝ ∂r
2
⎠ k α ∂t
heat conduction equation:

d 2T
=0
dx 2
2.3 General Heat Conduction Equation

## Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of heat Rate of change

conduction - conduction + generation of the energy
at x, y, and z at x+∆x, y+∆y, inside the = content of the
and z+∆z element element

∆Eelement
Q x + Q y + Q z   
−Qx +∆x − Qy +∆y − Qz +∆z + Egen ,element = (2-36)
∆t
Repeating the mathematical approach used for the one-
dimensional heat conduction the three-dimensional heat
conduction equation is determined to be
Two-dimensional

∂ 2T ∂ 2T ∂ 2T egen 1 ∂T
Constant conductivity: + 2 + 2 + = (2-39)
∂x 2
∂y ∂z k α ∂t

Three-dimensional

∂ 2T ∂ 2T ∂ 2T egen
+ 2 + 2 + = 0 (2-40)
∂y ∂z k
∂ 2T ∂ 2T ∂ 2T 1 ∂T
2) Transient, no heat generation: ∂x 2 + ∂y 2 + ∂z 2 = α ∂t (2-41)

∂ 2T ∂ 2T ∂ 2T
3) Steady-state, no heat generation: 2 + 2 + 2 = 0 (2-42)
∂x ∂y ∂z
Cylindrical Coordinates

1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ 1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞  ∂T
⎜ rk ⎟+ 2 ⎜ k ⎟ + ∂z ⎜ k ∂z ⎟ + egen = ρ c (2-43)
r ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ r ∂φ ⎝ ∂φ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠ ∂t
Spherical Coordinates

1 ∂ ⎛ 2 ∂T ⎞ 1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ 1 ∂ ⎛ ∂T ⎞ ∂T
⎜ kr ⎟ + ⎜ k ⎟ + ⎜ k sin θ + 
⎟ gen
e = ρ c
r 2 ∂r ⎝ ∂r ⎠ r 2 sin 2 θ ∂φ ⎝ ∂φ ⎠ r 2 sin θ ∂θ ⎝ ∂θ ⎠ ∂t
(2-44)
2.4 Boundary and Initial Conditions

## • (vi) Generalized Boundary Conditions

(i) Specified Temperature Boundary Condition
For one-dimensional heat
transfer through a plane wall of
thickness L, for example, the
specified temperature boundary
conditions can be expressed as

T(0, t) = T1
(2-46)
T(L, t) = T2

## The specified temperatures can be constant, which is the

case for steady heat conduction, or may vary with time.
(ii) Specified Heat Flux Boundary Condition
The heat flux in the positive x-
direction anywhere in the medium,
including the boundaries, can be
expressed by Fourier’s law of heat
conduction as
dT Heat flux in
q = − k = (2-47)
dx the positive
x-direction

## The sign of the specified heat flux is determined by

inspection: positive if the heat flux is in the positive
direction of the coordinate axis, and negative if it is in
the opposite direction.
Two Special Cases – Insulated Boundary
Insulated boundary Thermal symmetry

∂T (0, t ) ∂T (0, t )
k =0 or =0
∂x ∂x
∂T ( L / 2, t )
(2-49) = 0 (2-50)
∂x
(iii) Convection Boundary Condition
Heat conduction Heat convection
at the surface in a = at the surface in
selected direction the same direction
∂T (0, t )
−k = h1 [T∞1 − T (0, t ) ] (2-51a)
∂x
and

∂T ( L, t )
−k = h2 [T ( L, t ) − T∞ 2 ] (2-51b)
∂x
Heat conduction at the Radiation exchange at
surface in a selected = the surface in
direction the same direction
∂T (0, t )
−k = ε1σ ⎣Tsurr ,1 − T (0, t ) ⎤⎦
⎡ 4 4
(2-52a)
∂x
and

∂T ( L, t )
−k = ε 2σ ⎡⎣T ( L, t ) 4 − Tsurr
4

,2 ⎦
(2-52b)
∂x
(v) Interface Boundary Conditions
At the interface the requirements are:
(1) the same temperature at the area of contact,
(2) the heat flux on the two sides of an
interface must be the same.

## TA(x0, t) = TB(x0, t) (2-53)

and

∂TA ( x0 , t ) ∂TB ( x0 , t )
−k A = −kB (2-54)
∂x ∂x
(vi) Generalized Boundary Conditions

## In general a surface may involve convection, radiation,

and specified heat flux simultaneously. The boundary
condition in such cases is again obtained from a surface
energy balance, expressed as

## Heat transfer Heat transfer

to the surface = from the surface
in all modes in all modes
Heat Conduction Problems
(a)

OK !
不成立 !

2.6 Heat Generation (熱生成) in Solids

量，在分析時均

The quantities of major interest in a medium
with heat generation are
(i) the surface temperature Ts
(ii) the maximum temperature Tmax
that occurs in the medium in steady operation.
Heat Generation in Solids
- (i) The Surface Temperature
Rate of Rate of
heat transfer = energy generation (2-63)
from the solid within the solid
For uniform heat generation within the medium
Q = egenV (W) (2-64)
The heat transfer rate by convection can also be
expressed from Newton’s law of cooling as
- Q = hAs (Ts − T∞ ) (W) (2-65)

egenV
Ts = T∞ + (2-66)
hAs
(a) For a large plane wall of thickness 2L (As=2Awall
and V=2LAwall)
egen L
Ts , plane wall = T∞ + (2-67)
h
(b) For a long solid cylinder of radius r0 (As=2πr0L
and V=πr02L)
egen r0
Ts ,cylinder = T∞ + (2-68)
2h

## (c) For a solid sphere of radius r0 (As=4πr02 and V=4/3πr03)

egen r0
Ts , sphere = T∞ + (2-69)
3h
Heat Generation in Solids – (ii)The maximum
Temperature in a Cylinder (the Centerline)

## The heat generated within an inner

cylinder must be equal to the heat
conducted through its outer surface.
dT
−kAr = egenVr (2-70)
dr
Substituting these expressions into the above equation
and separating the variables, we get
egen
−k ( 2π rL )
dT
dr
( )
= egen π r L → dT = −
2

2k
rdr

## Integrating from r =0 where T(0) =T0 to r=ro

egen r02
∆Tmax,cylinder = T0 − Ts = (2-71)
4k
Variable Thermal Conductivity, k(T) - 略
• The thermal conductivity of a
material, in general, varies with
temperature.
• An average value for the
thermal conductivity is
commonly used when the
variation is mild.
• This is also common practice
for other temperature-
dependent properties such as
the density and specific heat.
Variable Thermal Conductivity for One-
Dimensional Cases
When the variation of thermal conductivity with temperature
is known, the average value of the thermal conductivity in the
temperature range between T1 and T2 can be determined from
T2

kave =

T1
k (T )dT
(2-75)
T2 − T1
The variation in thermal conductivity of a material
with can often be approximated as a linear function
and expressed as
k (T ) = k0 (1 + β T ) (2-79)

## β the temperature coefficient of thermal conductivity.

Variable Thermal Conductivity
• For a plane wall the
temperature varies linearly