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Advances in Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 929236, 8 pages
Research Article

An Analytical Approximation for Continuous Flow Microwave Heating of Liquids

1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
2Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Italy

Received 21 February 2013; Revised 4 April 2013; Accepted 6 April 2013

Academic Editor: Moran Wang

Copyright © 2013 G. Cuccurullo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Both a numerical and an analytical models were developed to simulate temperature profiles in continuous laminar pipe flow during microwave heating. Fully developed velocity and thermally developing conditions were assumed. The numerical solution was obtained by first solving Maxwell equations and then by coupling them with the energy balance for the flowing fluid. On the other hand, the same problem was solved analytically under the simplifying assumption foreseeing uniform heat generation inside the pipe. With the aim of reducing computational efforts, numerical and analytical results were compared in order to investigate conditions for which the two models allowed to recover the same temperature patterns. Thus, it has been shown that suitable conditions can be found for which the simplified analytical model can lead to an easy way to predict the heat transfer through the pipe.