Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Muhammad M. Rahman, Ph.D.


Computational fluid dynamics, Liquid hydrogen, Zero boil-off, Refrigerated storage, Thermal comfort, Contaminant removal


This work presents the use of numerical modeling and simulation for the analysis of transport phenomena in engineering systems including zero boil-off (ZBO) cryogenic storage tanks for liquid hydrogen, refrigerated warehouses, and human-occupied air-conditioned spaces. Seven problems of medium large spaces in these fields are presented. Numerical models were developed and used for the simulation of fluid flow and heat and mass transfer for these problems. Governing equations representing the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy were solved numerically resulting in the solution of velocity, pressure, temperature, and species concentration(s). Numerical solutions were presented as 2-D and 3-D plots that provide more insightful understanding of the relevant transport phenomena. Parametric studies on geometric dimensions and/or boundary conditions were carried out.

Four designs of ZBO cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage tank were studied for their thermal performance under heat leak from the surroundings. Steady state analyses show that higher flow rate of forced fluid flow yields lower maximum fluid temperature. 3-D simulation provides the visualization of the complex structures of the 3-D distributions of the fluid velocity and temperature. Transient analysis results in the patterns of fluid velocity and temperature for various stages of a proposed cooling cycle and the prediction of its effective operating term. A typical refrigerated warehouse with a set of ceiling type cooling units were modeled and simulated with both 2-D and 3-D models. It was found that if the cooling units are closer to the stacks of stored packages, lower and more uniform temperature distribution can be achieved.

The enhancement of thermal comfort in an air-conditioned residential room by using a ceiling fan was studied and quantified to show that thermal comfort at higher temperature can be improved with the use of ceiling fan. A 3-D model was used for an analysis of thermal comfort and contaminant removal in a hospital operating room. It was found that if the wall supply grilles are closer to the center, the system has better performance in both contaminant removal and thermal comfort. A practical guideline for using CFD modeling in indoor spaces with an effective meshing approach is also proposed.