Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, South Africa, 1-4 July, 2007.
The aim of this study is to propose an optimisation
method for heat transfer in a complex configuration
inspired from well known constructal theory. Two
cases of optimisation will be presented here: the
case of a square heater cooled by a single-sided
heat sink and the case of a disc-shaped area to be
cooled with a central heat sink. The method used
for optimisation is a cellular automaton which can
progressively modify the shape of a conductive
path linked to the heat sink with very simple rules.
The rules imitate natural morphogenesis: as
motionless organisms can grow along nutrient or
water gradients with roots and pseudopodia, the
cellular automaton created here initiates growth
around the conductive path where thermal gradients
are high and initiates destruction of conductive
matter where gradients are low, so that the amount
of conductive matter remains constant. The actual
limitations of this procedure are exposed.