SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, Volume 59 , Issue 7 : 1065-1070(2016) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-016-6074-6

Numerical simulation of heat transfer process in cement grate cooler based on dynamic mesh technique

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  • ReceivedFeb 17, 2016
  • AcceptedApr 30, 2016
  • PublishedJun 20, 2016


A grate cooler is key equipment in quenching clinker and recovering heat in cement production. A two-dimensional numerical model based on a 5000 t/d cement plant is proposed to for a study on the gas-solid coupled heat transfer process between the cooling air and clinker in a grate cooler. In this study, we use the Fluent dynamic mesh technique and porous media model through which the transient temperature distribution with the clinker motion process and steady temperature and pressure distribution are obtained. We validate the numerical model with the operating data of the cooling air outlet temperature. Then, we discuss the amount of mid-temperature air outlet and average diameter of clinker particles, which affect the heat effective utilization and cooling air pressure drop in clinker layer. We found that after adding one more mid-temperature air outlet, the average temperature of the air flowing into the heat recovery boiler increases by 29.04°C and the ratio of heat effective utilization increases by 5.3%. This means heat recovery is more effective on adding one more mid-temperature air outlet. Further, the smaller the clinker particles, the more is the pressure drop in clinker layer; thus more power consumption is needed by the cooling fan.


This work was supported by the Horizontal Subject (Grant No. 11471501), and the National Basic Research Program of China (“973” Project) (Grant No. 2013CB228305).


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  • Figure 1

    Geometry model of grate cooler.Table 1 Air inlets boundary condition*

  • Figure 2

    Secondary air temperature Vs. Mesh quantity.

  • Figure 3

    Transient temperature distribution with flow time. (a) 20 s; (b) 60 s; (c) 120 s; (d) 180 s; (e) 186 s; (f) 200 s.

  • Figure 4

    Pressure distribution under steady state.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) Heat flow of grate cooler.

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) Pressure drop comparison with different clinker diameters in different wind chambers. (a) Chamber 1 to 5; (b) chamber 6 to 9.

  • Table 2   Air outlets boundary condition


    Pressure (Pa)

    Temperature (°C)

    Secondary air



    Tertiary air



    High-Tem air 01



    High-Tem air 02



    Mid-Tem air



    Low-Tem air



  • Table 3   Outlets temperature comparison between simulation and operating data



    values (°C)


    values (°C)*

    Secondary air



    Tertiary air



    High-Tem air 01



    High-Tem air 02


    Mid-Tem air



    Low-Tem air



  • Table 4   Heat efficiency comparison between different models*


    Heat utilization by heat recovery boiler (J/s)



    Heat net increment of cooling air (J/s)



    Rate of heat effective utilization (%)



    Average temperature of air flowing to heat recovery boiler (°C)



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