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Solar Radiation Effect on a Gasoline Tank CFD Simulation

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The present problem simulates the effect of solar radiation and coating layer on a gasoline fuel tank temperature.

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

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Project Description

The present problem simulates the effect of solar radiation and coating layer on a gasoline fuel tank. In this model, a gas tank is located inside a computational area containing air flow. The air flow with a speed of 10 m.s-1 and a temperature of 318.15 K enters the computational zone and collides with the tank. Since the purpose of the problem is to investigate the effect of solar radiation on the tank, the radiation model has been used. The radiation model is P1 type and solar ray tracing mode has also been activated.

Model P1 is being used for cases where directional independence is integrated into the radiation heat transfer equations, resulting in a scattering or emission equation for random radiation. Its advantages are that the radiation heat transfer equation is easily solved even with low CPUs, includes the effects of light scattering such as the effects of particles or droplets of water or soot, and works well in cases with high thicknesses. The solar load model is also used to activate the thermal load of solar energy.

Project Description

Solar charge is a type of solar ray tracing as an algorithm for transmitting solar radiation energy, which, of course, can only be used for three-dimensional models. In the present model, the characteristics of solar radiation on surfaces and objects include longitude 36.2605 degrees, latitude 59.6168 degrees, and time zone equivalent to 4.5. In the global position section, the north and east directions of the object in relation to the solar radiation in the mesh orientation section are considered in the positive direction y and x, respectively.

The radiation time in the date and time section is defined at 13:08 on the 17th day of the 8th. This simulation has been done in two geometrically different modes. In the first case, no cover layer is provided for the gasoline tank, and in the second case, a 0.003 m cover layer is used for the perimeter of the tank. In the current simulation, the gasoline used in the tank has a density equal to 830 kg.m-3, specific heat capacity equal to 2050, thermal conductivity equal to 0.135 Wm-1.K-1 A, and the viscosity equal to 0.00332 kg.m-1.s-1.

The coating layer of the tank wall in the second case is made of a material with a density of 770 kg.m-3, a specific heat capacity of 1800 and a thermal conductivity of 0.079 Wm. -1.K-1. This simulation process was performed in 3600 s.

Geometry & Mesh

The present model is drawn in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The present model consists of a cylindrical tank for storage of gasoline with a height of 0.1 m and a diameter of 0.1 m, which is located within a computing area of a rectangular cube with dimensions 1.2 m * 0.3 m * 0.1 m. Also, the cover layer thickness is 0.003 m. The Following figure shows a view of the geometry.

solar radiation

The meshing of the model was carried out using ANSYS Meshing software and the mesh type is unstructured. The element number is equal to 1084362. The following figure shows an overview of the mesh.

solar radiation

CFD Simulation

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is unsteady; Because the model examines the temperature changes caused by the solar radiation over time.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

A summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution is given in the following table:

Viscous Modelk-epsilon
k-epsilon modelstandard
near-wall treatmentstandard wall function
Radiation ModelP1
solar load modelsolar ray tracing
Boundary conditions
InletVelocity Inlet
velocity magnitude10 m.s-1
temperature318.15 K
internal emissivity1
participates in solar ray tracingactive
OutletPressure Outlet
thermal conditioncoupled
internal emissivity1
participates in solar ray tracingactive
Walls of Tank & CoatingWall
wall motionstationary wall
thermal conditioncoupled
internal emissivity1
participates in solar ray tracingactive
Solution Methods
Pressure-velocity coupling SIMPLE
Spatial discretizationpressuresecond order
momentumsecond order upwind
turbulent kinetic energyfirst order upwind
turbulent dissipation ratefirst order upwind
energysecond order upwind
Initialization method Standard
gauge pressure0 pascal
x-velocity10 m.s-1
y-velocity , z-velocity0 m.s-1
temperature318.15 K


At the end of the solution process, we obtain two-dimensional and three-dimensional temperature contours in both cases of with and without coating layer. We present two-dimensional contours in two sections of X-Y and X-Z. We obtain these contours at the last second of the simulation interval.

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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