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Calculating effective heat conductivity for a class of industrial problems is discussed. The considered composite materials are glass and metal foams, fibrous materials, and the like, used in isolation or in advanced heat exchangers. These materials are characterized by a very complex internal structure, by low volume fraction of the higher conductive material (glass or metal), and by a large volume fraction of the air. The homogenization theory (when applicable), allows to calculate the effective heat conductivity of composite media by postprocessing the solution of special cell problems for representative elementary volumes (REV). Different formulations of such cell problems are considered and compared here. Furthermore, the size of the REV is studied numerically for some typical materials. Fast algorithms for solving the cell problems for this class of problems, are presented and discussed.

Abstract. An efficient approach to the numerical upscaling of thermal conductivities of fibrous media, e.g. insulation materials, is considered. First, standard cell problems for a second order elliptic equation are formulated for a proper piece of random fibrous structure, following homogenization theory. Next, a graph formed by the fibers is considered, and a second order elliptic equation with suitable boundary conditions is solved on this graph only. Replacing the boundary value problem for the full cell with an auxiliary problem with special boundary conditions on a connected subdomain of highly conductive material is justified in a previous work of the authors. A discretization on the graph is presented here, and error estimates are provided. The efficient implementation of the algorithm is discussed. A number of numerical experiments is presented in order to illustrate the performance of the proposed method.

Abstract — Various advanced two-level iterative methods are studied numerically and compared with each other in conjunction with finite volume discretizations of symmetric 1-D elliptic problems with highly oscillatory discontinuous coefficients. Some of the methods considered rely on the homogenization approach for deriving the coarse grid operator. This approach is considered here as an alternative to the well-known Galerkin approach for deriving coarse grid operators. Different intergrid transfer operators are studied, primary consideration being given to the use of the so-called problemdependent prolongation. The two-grid methods considered are used as both solvers and preconditioners for the Conjugate Gradient method. The recent approaches, such as the hybrid domain decomposition method introduced by Vassilevski and the globallocal iterative procedure proposed by Durlofsky et al. are also discussed. A two-level method converging in one iteration in the case where the right-hand side is only a function of the coarse variable is introduced and discussed. Such a fast convergence for problems with discontinuous coefficients arbitrarily varying on the fine scale is achieved by a problem-dependent selection of the coarse grid combined with problem-dependent prolongation on a dual grid. The results of the numerical experiments are presented to illustrate the performance of the studied approaches.

We present a two-scale finite element method for solving Brinkman’s and Darcy’s equations. These systems of equations model fluid flows in highly porous and porous media, respectively. The method uses a recently proposed discontinuous Galerkin FEM for Stokes’ equations byWang and Ye and the concept of subgrid approximation developed by Arbogast for Darcy’s equations. In order to reduce the “resonance error” and to ensure convergence to the global fine solution the algorithm is put in the framework of alternating Schwarz iterations using subdomains around the coarse-grid boundaries. The discussed algorithms are implemented using the Deal.II finite element library and are tested on a number of model problems.

An efficient approach for calculating the effective heat conductivity for a class of industrial composite materials, such as metal foams, fibrous glass materials, and the like, is discussed. These materials, used in insulation or in advanced heat exchangers, are characterized by a low volume fraction of the highly conductive material (glass or metal) having a complex, network-like structure and by a large volume fraction of the insulator (air). We assume that the composite materials have constant macroscopic thermal conductivity tensors, which in principle can be obtained by standard up-scaling techniques, that use the concept of representative elementary volumes (REV), i.e. the effective heat conductivities of composite media can be computed by post-processing the solutions of some special cell problems for REVs. We propose, theoretically justify, and numerically study an efficient approach for calculating the effective conductivity for media for which the ratio of low and high conductivities satisfies 1. In this case one essentially only needs to solve the heat equation in the region occupied by the highly conductive media. For a class of problems we show, that under certain conditions on the microscale geometry, the proposed approach produces an upscaled conductivity that is O() close to the exact upscaled permeability. A number of numerical experiments are presented in order to illustrate the accuracy and the limitations of the proposed method. Applicability of the presented approach to upscaling other similar problems, e.g. flow in fractured porous media, is also discussed.