The Sound of Boiling

Curtis Hamman, Stanford University

Photo of Curtis Hamman

Boiling is a very efficient mode of heat transfer used to harness the energy produced in geothermal, coal, solar and nuclear power plants. Accurate knowledge of the local state of flow boiling is critical to maintaining reliable peak performance in such energy conversion systems and to avoid burnout.

Vapor bubbles liberated during local boiling not only generate large sound pressures as they pulsate, grow and collapse, but also display a distinct tonal dependence characteristic of the local multiphase environment, much like the familiar fugue of water boiling on a hot stove or the sound of steak sizzling on a grill. Thus, the sound of boiling provides a means to detect and predict the behavior of boiling in engineering systems.

To help record this sheet music of boiling, direct numerical simulations of two-phase Rayleigh-BĂ©nard flow are presented. The acoustic field and spinning duct modes subject to natural convection are examined. Parallel scalability and code performance using a hybrid OpenMP/MPI programming model are also presented.

Abstract Author(s): Curtis Hamman and Parviz Moin