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Theses Doctoral

Smooth and Robust Solutions for Dirichlet Boundary Control of Fluid-Solid Conjugate Heat Transfer Problems

Yan, Yan

This work offers new computational methods for the optimal control of the conjugate heat transfer (CHT) problem in thermal science. Conjugate heat transfer has many important industrial applications, such as heat exchange processes in power plants and cooling in electronic packaging industry, and has been a staple of computational methods in thermal science for many years. This work considers the Dirichlet boundary control of fluid-solid CHT problems. The CHT system falls into the category of multi-physics problems. Its domain typically consists of two parts, namely, a solid region subject to thermal heating or cooling and a conjugate fluid region responsible for thermal convection transport. These two different physical systems are strongly coupled through the thermal boundary condition at the fluid-solid interface. The objective in the CHT boundary control problem is to select optimally the fluid inflow profile that minimizes an objective function that involves
the sum of the mismatch between the temperature distribution in the system and a prescribed temperature profile and the cost of the control. This objective is realized by minimizing a nonlinear objective function of the boundary control and the fluid temperature variables, subject to partial differential equations (PDE) constraints governed by the coupled heat diffusion equation in the solid region and mass, momentum and energy conservation equations in the fluid region.

Although CHT has received extensive attention as a forward problem, the optimal Dirichlet
velocity boundary control for the coupled CHT process to our knowledge is only very sparsely studied analytically or computationally in the literature [131]. Therefore, in Part I, we describe the formulation of the optimal control problem and introduce the building blocks for the finite element modeling of the CHT problem, namely, the diffusion equation for the solid temperature, the convection-diffusion equation for the fluid temperature, the incompressible viscous Navier-Stokes equations for the fluid velocity and pressure, and the model verification of CHT simulations.
In Part II, we provide theoretical analysis to explain the nonsmoothness issue which has been observed in this study and in Dirichlet boundary control of Navier-Stokes flows by other scientists. Based on these findings, we use either explicit or implicit numerical smoothing to resolve the nonsmoothness issue. Moreover, we use the numerical continuation on regularization parameters to alleviate the difficulty of locating the global minimum in one shot for highly nonlinear optimization problems even when the initial guess is far from optimal. Two suites of numerical experiments have been provided to demonstrate the feasibility, effectiveness and robustness of the optimization scheme.
In Part III, we demonstrate the strategy of achieving parallel scalable algorithms for CHT models in Simulations of Reactor Thermal Hydraulics. Our motivation originates from the observation that parallel processing is necessary for optimal control problems of very large scale, when the simulation of the underlying physics (or PDE constraints) involves millions or billions of degrees of freedom. To achieve the overall scalability of optimal control problems governed by PDE constraints, scalable components that resolve the PDE constraints and their adjoints are the key. In this Part, first we provide the strategy of designing parallel scalable solvers for each building blocks of the CHT modeling, namely, for the discrete diffusive operator, the discrete convection-diffusion operator, and the discrete Navier-Stokes operator. Second, we demonstrate a pair of effective, robust, parallel, and scalable solvers built with collaborators for simulations of reactor thermal hydraulics. Finally, in the the section of future work, we outline the roadmap of parallel and scalable solutions for Dirichlet boundary control of fluid-solid conjugate heat transfer processes.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Thesis Advisors
Keyes, David Elliot
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 3, 2015