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Heat Sink Cooling with a Porous Medium CFD Simulation

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In this project, the fluid flow inside a porous medium is simulated for a heat sink cooling.


This ANSYS Fluent project includes CFD simulation files and a training movie.

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Porous Medium Introduction

Studying fluid flow in porous media is one of the most widely used fields of science. A porous medium is made up of mostly perforated materials and contains pores and void spaces within itself. Various body tissues such as skin, bones, kidneys, and lungs can be considered as a porous medium. Porous media are widely used in a variety of industries such as food, oil, textiles, building materials, insulation, filters, and membranes.


Heat Sink Cooling Project description

In this project, the fluid flow and heat transfer inside a porous medium is simulated. This porous medium is in contact with a heat source and the whole setup acts as a heat sink. The energy model is activated and the RNG  k-epsilon model with the use of standard wall function is exploited for fluid flow analysis.


Geometry and mesh

The modeled geometry for this simulation consists of a hollow section acting as an inlet, followed by a porous aluminum foam, which is in contact with a heat source. Geometry is designed in ANSYS design modeler® and is meshed in ANSYS meshing®. The meshes used for this geometry are structured and the total number of mesh cells is 7680.

The following figure shows the geometry of the porous aluminum heat sink

heat sink

The following figure shows the mesh of the modeled porous aluminum heat sink


Heat Sink Cooling CFD Simulation

The assumptions considered in this project are:

  • Simulation is done using a pressure-based solver.
  • The present simulation and its results are considered to be steady and do not change as a function time.
  • Simulation is done using axisymmetric assumptions.
  • The effect of gravity has not been taken into account.

The applied settings are recapitulated in the following table.

Viscous modelk-epsilon
k-epsilon modelRNG
near-wall treatmentstandard wall function
(porous)Cell zone conditions
Fluid zone
Foam zonePorous zone 
Fluid porosity0.87
Viscous resistance45774563.33 (both direction)
(porous)Boundary conditions
Inletvelocity inlet
velocity1.99 m/s
Turbulent intensity5 %
Hydraulic diameter0.065 m
Temperature300 K
Aluminum rod and heat sourceHeat flux20000 W/m2
Outer wallsHeat flux0 W/m2
(porous)Solution Methods
Pressure-velocity coupling SIMPLE
Spatial discretizationpressurestandard
momentumfirst-order upwind
energysecond-order upwind
turbulent kinetic energyfirst-order upwind
turbulent dissipation ratefirst-order upwind
Initialization method Hybrid


We obtain the contours of temperature, velocity, pressure, streamlines, and velocity vectors.


All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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