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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 175616, 17 pages
Research Article

Boolean-Based Surface Procedure for the External Heat Transfer Analysis of Dams during Construction

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 19 July 2013; Accepted 4 September 2013

Academic Editor: Song Cen

Copyright © 2013 Yu Hu 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.


The external heat transfer of dams during construction is complex because such transfer is location specific and time varying. An external thermal model is developed in this paper. Five types of external heat flux are considered in the mathematical model: air-side convection, electromagnetic radiation, absorbed solar input, water-side convection, and surface insulation effect. A method for extracting and classifying the external surfaces of dams on the basis of Boolean operations is proposed. Heat transfer conditions can be automatically set up for each step according to the proposed method, and the method can be used as a preprocessing facility for finite element analysis. A 285 m high arch dam in Southwest China is examined as a study case. The model is implemented and found to correctly identify different types of external surfaces. Simulation result agrees well with the monitored temperatures.