Department of Chemical Engineering, Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Coimbatore - 641014, Tamil Nadu, India
Air flow and heat transfer inside a yogurt cooling room were analysed using Computational Fluid Dynamics. Air flow and heat transfer models were based on 3D, unsteady state, incompressible, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations and energy equations. Yogurt cooling room was modelled with the measured geometry using 3D design tool AutoCAD. Yogurt cooling room model was exported into the flow simulation software by specifying properties of inlet air, yogurt, pallet and walls of the room. Packing material was not considered in this study because of less thickness (cup-0.5mm, carton box-1.5mm) and negligible resistance created in the conduction of heat. 3D Computational domain was meshed with hexahedral cells and governing equations were solved using explicit finite volume method. Air flow pattern inside the room and the temperature distribution in the bulk of palletized yogurt were predicted. Through validation, the variation in the temperature distribution and velocity vector from the measured value was found to be 2.0oC (maximum) and 30% respectively. From the simulation and the measured value of the temperature distribution, it was observed that the temperature was non-uniform over the bulk of yogurt. This might be due to refrigeration capacity, air flow pattern, stacking of yogurt or geometry of the room. Required results were achieved by changing the location of the cooling fan.