Truck trailer, Refrigeration system, Turbulence modeling, Eutectic plates, Heat infiltration.
The present work reports the Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation and analysis of the heat transfer inside a refrigerated truck trailer equipped with three eutectic plates and fans. The numerical model solves the conjugated heat transfer inside the trailer in 2D using the �� −�� Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model. It has been already favorably validated against the numerical and experimental data of Lafaye de Micheaux el al. (2015) by Croquer et al. (2019). These simulations are used to improve the configuration of the refrigeration system with the eutectic plates as well as to investigate the feasibility of the eutectic plates for the transport of frozen food products under different operating loads and transport temperature requirements. Three eutectic plates having an optimal inter-plate distance of 6 cm to maximize the air flow between the plates (Croquer et al., 2019) are either placed in series on the roof of the trailer or vertically at its back. For both configurations, fans are blowing the air from the eutectic plates to the inside of the trailer and modeled by adding a source term into the momentum equations. During the door opening period, the configuration with the plates placed on the roof of the trailer without the cargo has noticeably lower area-averaged temperature inside the trailer than the configuration with the plates placed on the back of the trailer due to the presence of the circulation zones and the cold plates located near the doorway. However, introduction of the cargo into the simulations eliminates the formation of the circulation zones that prevents the infiltration of the atmospheric air. Also, the configuration with the plates placed on the roof of the trailer allows the atmospheric air to infiltrate earlier, therefore resulting in an overall higher temperature observed in the cargo.