The main use of the Heat Loss module is to estimate total heat loss or to draw the temperature profile of a wall or reactor. However, it can also be used to compare different materials and different setups, for example, the use of insulation when a material has a critical maximum temperature or when the outside air cannot exceed a certain temperature. The conduction, convection and radiation databases also provide a resource as simple reference tables for material properties.
The basic concept of the module is that the user specifies the system setup by selecting the geometry of the object, inserting columns, specifying a material for each column, specifying thicknesses (if any) and entering either one temperature point and a total heat loss or two arbitrary temperature points within the same sheet. From these inputs the program can calculate either the temperature profile or the total heat flow. The temperature profile (profiles) can then be plotted graphically.
The main workbook is very similar to Excel-type worksheets in terms of the properties that can be found in the menu and also most of the Excel worksheet functions are available.
The user must first specify the column types, which can be Layer, Layer contact, Surface, and Enclosure. The thickness must be specified for Layer and Enclosure columns, while the Layer contact and Surface columns have zero thickness. Two basic types of calculations may be carried out:
- Temperature profile with fixed heat flow and one temperature point.
- Heat Flow with two fixed temperature points. This will return not only the heat flow but also the temperature profile.
The calculation routine handles conduction, convection and radiation properties as functions of temperature but fixed values may also be used by selecting the value and pressing the Fix Value button. These fixed values are shown in red on the calculation sheet.
The temperature profile as well as some other user-specified values may also be presented in graphical form. The target dialog may be used to find, for example, minimum layer thickness. The calculation specifications may be saved to files for later use.