Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Mauritius, 11-13 July, 2011.
This paper considers the challenges of visualising data that describe thermo fluid dynamic processes. The importance of being able to construct visualisation artefacts that accurately
represent the properties of relevant transport vectors is
discussed and appropriate methods based on vector and scalar potentials are described. Attention then turns to heatlines which are becoming increasingly popular for visualising heat transfer process but suffer from ambiguities that arise from the choice of conditions for reference enthalpy. Fortunately, although the assumed reference conditions influence the heatline patterns within the flow, the overall heat transfer analysis provided by the lines may not be adversely affected. The possibility of extending the heatline approach to entropy lines is then considered for two and three dimensional heat transfer fields. The entropy transport vector is not divergence free and a new method that involves a combination of scalar and vector potentials is proposed to correctly construct the lines of the entropy transport vector.