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ABSTRACT: The development of an embryo in an avian egg depends largely on its temperature. The embryo temperature is affected by its environment and the heat produced by the egg. In this paper, eggshell temperature and the heat transfer characteristics from one egg in a tray toward its environment are studied by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Computational fluid dynamics simulations have the advantage of providing extensive 3-dimensional information on velocity and eggshell temperature distribution around an egg that otherwise is not possible to obtain by experiments. However, CFD results need to be validated against experimental data. The objectives were (1) to find out whether CFD can successfully simulate eggshell temperature from one egg in a tray by comparing to previously conducted experiments, (2) to visualize air flow and air temperature distribution around the egg in a detailed way, and (3) to perform sensitivity analysis on several variables affecting heat transfer. To this end, a CFD model was validated using 2 sets of temperature measurements yielding an effective model. From these simulations, it can be concluded that CFD can effectively be used to analyze heat transfer characteristics and eggshell temperature distribution around an egg. In addition, air flow and temperature distribution around the egg are visualized. It has been observed that temperature differences up to 2.6 degrees C are possible at high heat production (285 mW) and horizontal low flow rates (0.5 m/s). Sensitivity analysis indicates that average eggshell temperature is mainly affected by the inlet air velocity and temperature, flow direction, and the metabolic heat of the embryo and less by the thermal conductivity and emissivity of the egg and thermal emissivity of the tray.
Poultry Science 04/2010; 89(4):776-84. · 1.52 Impact Factor