On the Solution of Coupled Heat and Moisture Transport in Porous Material

Julien Berger, Suelen Gasparin, Denys Dutykh, Nathan Mendes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Comparisons of experimental observation of heat and moisture transfer through porous building materials with numerical results have been presented in numerous studies reported in the literature. However, some discrepancies have been observed, highlighting underestimation of sorption process and overestimation of desorption process. Some studies intend to explain the discrepancies by analyzing the importance of hysteresis effects as well as carrying out sensitivity analyses on the input parameters as convective transfer coefficients. This article intends to investigate the accuracy and efficiency of the coupled solution by adding advective transfer of both heat and moisture in the physical model. In addition, the efficient Scharfetter and Gummel numerical scheme is proposed to solve the system of advection–diffusion equations, which has the advantages of being well-balanced and asymptotically preserving. Moreover, the scheme is particularly efficient in terms of accuracy and reduction of computational time when using large spatial discretization parameters. Several linear and nonlinear cases are studied to validate the method and highlight its specific features. At the end, an experimental benchmark from the literature is considered. The numerical results are compared to the experimental data for a pure diffusive model and also for the proposed model. The latter presents better agreement with the experimental data. The influence of the hysteresis effects on the moisture capacity is also studied, by adding a third differential equation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)665-702
Number of pages38
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Advection–diffusion system equations
  • Benchmarking sorption–desorption experimental data
  • Heat and moisture in porous material
  • Moisture sorption hysteresis
  • Scharfetter–Gummel numerical scheme


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