The Nusselt Problem: Steady-State Laminar Convection in a Pipe Using Ansys Workbench

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On a daily basis, we use various heat transfer systems such as boilers, condensers, and radiators in heating and cooling applications.

Most of these systems transfer thermal energy by convection. Convection is an important heat transfer mode where thermal energy is transferred between two different bodies, one of which is a moving fluid (liquid or gas). It is important to study heat transfer by convection to design efficient heat exchangers and prevent systems from overheating. Engineering simulations give us insights into the physics of convection and help us understand the impact of these design modifications. In this course, we consider a canonical problem of steady laminar pipe flow to understand the convective effects.

This SimCafe course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Benjamin J Mullen in partnership with Ansys. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. In this course, we will learn to model steady-state convection by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Workbench and estimate the Nusselt number variation along the pipe.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here:

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