A DEM-CFD Approach for Predicting Pressure Drop Through Packed Bed of Crushed Rocks





Thermal Energy Storage, Crushed Rocks, DEM/CFD Approach, Pressure Drop


Predicting the pressure drop over a packed bed of air-crushed rocks is a crucial parameter for a solar storage system to be economically viable. The selection of the blower and the estimation of the total capacity of the storage system are highly dependent on it. There are various parameters that influence the air flow through the bed, such as the shapes and sizes of the crushed rocks, which affect the packing density and particle arrangement. In this paper, the crushed rock was represented by an ellipsoidal shape with the same volume and aspect ratio as the average of randomly collected crushed rock samples to investigate the pressure drop through the packed bed. Simulation models were developed to assist in driving a pressure drop correlation as well as the effect of particles' orientation on pressure drop. For simulation, a Discrete Element Model (DEM) was used to generate the particles and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to simulate the flow over the particles. To validate the DEM/CFD models, experiments consisting of a packed bed of ellipsoidal particles and crushed rocks were developed. Consequently, an equation based on the porous media approach was proposed to predict the pressure drop, and the correlation was found to underestimate the pressure drop through the crushed rock by less than 20% in the horizontal flow.


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How to Cite

Hassan, E. B. E., & Hoffmann, J. (2024). A DEM-CFD Approach for Predicting Pressure Drop Through Packed Bed of Crushed Rocks. SolarPACES Conference Proceedings, 1. https://doi.org/10.52825/solarpaces.v1i.665

Conference Proceedings Volume


Thermal Energy Storage Materials, Media, and Systems