A. Heitor Reis
1,2
1
Department of Physics, University of vora, Apartado 94, 7002554 vora, Portugal
2
Geophysics Centre of vora, Rua Romo Ramalho 59, 7000671 vora, Portugal
1
Outline
Shape and structure in natural systems
The constructal Law
The Constructal Law as a Minimum Time Principle
The Constructal method
Examples of application
Heat and Fluid flow
running, swimming and flying
Flow architectures of the lungs
Global Circulation and Climate
Scaling Laws of River Basins
Scaling Laws of Street Networks
Beachface Morphing
Towards equilibrium flow structures
Conclusions
2
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Which feature is shared by all
these stuctures?
PEM Fuel Cell
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Constructal Law*(A. Bejan, 1996)
For a finitesize system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides
easier and easier access to the (global) currents that flow through it.
S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l
c
o
m
p
l
e
x
i
t
y
Time
System
System
*A. Bejan, Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, 2
nd
Edition, Wiley, New York, 1997
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
11
Constructal Theory
Structure optimization at every scale
From the simplest structure to higher complexity structures
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Area to point flows
The optimal structure is constructed by optimizing volume
shape at every length scale, in a hierarchical sequence that
begins with the smallest building block and proceeds towards
larger building blocks (which are called constructs)*
Currents
Heat: q(x, y, z, t, , , H
j
)
Mass: J(x, y, z, t, , , H
k
)
Constraints
geometry: (x, y, z)=0
Parameters: H
i
=Const.
 optimization target
A. Bejan, Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature, Camb. Un. Press, 2000
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
R n / R
i
=
I nI
i
=
=
=
n
1 i
i
R / 1 R / 1
i i
I R V =
It follows:
Total current fixed, I
The optimized structure minimizes total entropy generation:
T RI T I R S
n
i
i i gen
2
1
2
=
=
=
*A. Heitor Reis, 2004, Constructal Theory: From Engineering to Physics, or How Flow
Systems Develop Shape and Structure, a aparecer em Applied Mechanics Reviews,
i
Minimization of the global resistance at constant I*
( ) 0 dI I / I R 2
i
n
1 i
2
2
i i
=
=
( ) 0 dI ) nI /( R
i
n
1 i
1 i
=
=
2
gen
I S T R
=
T / VI S
gen
=
I / V R=
) nI ( I R R
n
1 i
i i
=
=
2
n
1 i
2
i i
I I R R
=
=
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
"Among the principles that I could mention I noticed that most of them sprang in
one way or another from the least action principle of mechanics and
electrodynamics. But there is also a class that does not. As an example, if
currents are made to go through a piece of material obeying Ohm's law, the
currents distribute themselves inside the piece so that the rate at which heat is
generated is as little as possible. Now, this principle also holds, according to
classical theory, in determining even the distribution of the velocities of the
electrons inside a metal which is carrying a current.
R. P. Feynman (The Feyn. Lect. on Phys., vol II, 1914, Add.Wesley, Mass., 1963)
Feynman (1962)
Theorem of Minimum Entropy Production In the linear regime the total entropy
production in a system subject to flow of energy and matter reaches a minimum
value at the nonequilibrium stationnary state.
I. Prigogine (Introd. to Thermod. of Irrev. Proc.,J. Wiley, N. York, 1962)
Prigogine (1962)
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
The MEP Hypothesis Climate like other open systems maximize the entropy
production rate, under the existing constraints .
G. W. Paltridge (Global Dynamics and Climate, 1975, Quat. J. R. Met. Soc. 101, 475484)
Has been confirmed with relation to oceanic circulations (Shimokawa and Osawa 2001,
2002) and atmospheric circulations (Kleidon et al. 2003).
Paltridge (1975)
MEP versus mEP (minimum entropy production)!!
The MEP Hypothesis applies to systems with many degrees of freedom while mEP
applies to systems with fixed boundary conditions and few degrees of freedom
R. Dewar (Information theory explanation of the fluctuation theorem, maximum entropy
production and selforganized criticality in nonequilibrium stationary states, 2003, J. Phys. A,
36, 631641). See also J. Withfield, Complex systems, order out of chaos, 2005, Nature, 436,
908908.
Open point:
When and where to use MEP or mEP ?
Dewar (2003)
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
16
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
MEP versus mEP (minimum entropy production)!!
Constructal law
Global I fixed total entropy generation is :
T RI T I R S
n
i
i i gen
2
1
2
=
=
=
Constructal law
V fixed total entropy generation is :
Constructal Theory
Global currents fixed*
mEP
Potential difference
fixed* (driving force)
MEP
Constraints
+
Flow architectures (system design)
*Ver:
A. Heitor Reis, 2006, Constructal Theory: From Engineering to Physics, or How
Flow Systems Develop Shape and Structure, Applied Mechanics Reviews .
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
18
(U, S, V, N)
(U0, S0, V0, N0)
For some fixed X(U,S,V,N) transfer between the
two systems, maximum flow access (I max. )
corresponds to minimum transfer time (t min.)
For some fixed X(U,S,V,N) transfer between the two systems, maximum flow access (R
min. ) corresponds to minimum transfer time (t min.)
Constructal law as a Minimum Time principle
A. Heitor Reis, 2006, Constructal Theory: From
Engineering to Physics, and How Flow Systems
Develop Shape and Structure, Applied Mechanics
Reviews, Vol.59, Issue 5, pp. 269282.
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
19
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Flow architectures are ubiquitous in Nature
20
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
A. Bejan, Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2000.
A. Heitor Reis, 2006, Constructal Theory: From Engineering to Physics, and How Flow Systems Develop Shape and
Structure, Applied Mechanics Reviews, Vol.59, Issue 5, pp. 269282.
A. Bejan and S. Lorente, Design with Constructal Theory, Wiley, 2008.
Reviews
21
Constructal sequence of assembly and
optimization, from the optimized
elemental area Ao, to progressively
larger areapoint flows
A. Bejan, Advanced EngineeringThermodynamics Sec.
13.5.
This global measure of flow imperfection can be minimized
with respect to the shape of the area element. The optimal
elemental shape is:
A. Bejan, Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2000
The Constructal Method
Areatopoint flows
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Choice between too much fluidflow
resistance and too much heattransfer
resistance. The correct choice is to
balance the two negative features so
that their global effect is minimum. This
balance yields the optimal spacing
Be is the dimensionless group
and are the fluid viscosity and
thermal diffusivity, respectively.
Balancing global resistances
Flow spacings
A. Bejan, Convection Heat Transfer, 3rd ed. Wiley,
Hoboken, NJ, 2004
A. Bejan, Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2000
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
24
To optimize the arrangement of heatgenerating components, plate
spacing and number of columns can vary. If spacing is too large or too
small, the hotspot temperature is high (in red). The optimal spacing is
shown in the middle frame, where the hot spots are the coolest
A. Bejan, Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2000.
L fixed
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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LINETOLINE TREE FLOW
maximization of flow access between the points of one line and the points of a parallel line
Explanation for the occurrence of large pores and
fissures through natural porous structures. These
large features are strangely oriented, at an angle,
not directly across the porous layer. Now we see
why. The large channel PP has two duties, to carry
fluid across the layer directly and to feed the
neighboring trees, which also carry fluid across the
layer. The appearance of raggedness and
disorganization is an illusion: such features
come from the same principle as all the other
features of the tree drawings.
S. Lorente and A. Bejan, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS
100, 2006
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
27
Making engineering design a Science
Flow architecture is the result and never is assumed in advance
Counterflow heat exchanger with two pointcircle flow trees
A. K. da Silva, S. Lorente, and A. Bejan, J. Appl. Phys. 96, 1709 2004
A. Bejan and S. Lorente, Design with Constructal Theory, Wiley, 2008.
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
28
A. Bejan and J. H. Marden, 2006, The Journal of Experimental Biology 209, 238248
constructal theory for scale effects in running, swimming and flying
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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A. Bejan, J.H. Marden. The constructal
unification of biological and geophysical
design. Physics of Life Reviews (2008)
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
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The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Constructal theory of flow
architectures of the lungs
A. H. Reis, A. F. Miguel and M. Aydin, 2004 Constructal theory of flow
architectures of the lungs, Medical Physics, V. 31 (5) pp.11351140.
31
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
32
The respiratory tree
Starts at the trachea;
Channels bifurcate 23 times
before reaching the alveolar sac.
Has this special flow architecture been developed by chance or
does it represent the optimum structure for the lungs purpose,
which is the oxygenation of the blood?
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
33
Constructal law (principle) the flow architectures evolve in time in order to
maximize the flow access under the constraints posed to the flow
Minimization of the global resistance to oxygen access
with respect to level of bifurcation
N
opt
= 23 (23.4)
Minimization of the global resistance to carbon dioxide
removal with respect to level of bifurcation
N
opt
= 23 (23.2)
( )
( )
(
(


.

\

=
1
D L
T R D 10 35 . 2
ln 164 . 2 N
ox
0
ox
ox
2
0
ox
g
4
0
4
opt


v
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
34
Total resistance to oxygen and carbon dioxide transport between the
entrance of the trachea and the alveolar surface is plotted as function of
the level of bifurcation (N).
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
35
Constructal laws of the human respiratory tree
(I)
If the number N
opt
=23 is common to mankind then a constructal rule
emerges:
m 10 6 . 1 . const
L
D
3
0
2
0
= = =
the ratio between the square of the trachea diameter and its length is
constant and a length characteristic of mankind:
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
36
( ) ( )
2 / 1
ox 0 ox
ox
g
ox ox
0
2
0
) ) ( T R
D
V
AL
63 . 8
L
D


.

\

 
 v
=
V Global volume of the respiratory tree; L average length
A Area allocated to gas (O
2
and CO
2
) exchange
(II)
The nondimensional number AL/V, determines the characteristic length =D
0
2
/L
0
,
which determines the number of bifurcations of the respiratory tree by:
The alveolar area required for gas exchange, A, the volume allocated to the
respiratory system, V, and the length of the respiratory tree, L, which are
constraints posed to the respiratory process determine univocally the structure of
the lungs, namely the bifurcation level of the bronchial tree.
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
CONSTRUCTAL THEORY OF GLOBAL CIRCULATION AND CLIMATE
A.Heitor Reis
1
and Adrian Bejan
2
1
University of vora, Department of Physics and Geophysics Center of vora, Colgio Luis Verney, Rua
Romo Ramalho, 59, 7000671, Evora, Portugal
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
0300 USA
37
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
38
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
Streamfunction lines of atmospherical longterm meridional
circulation. The isoline unit is 10 Sverdrups and the ordinate
represents altitude (adap. Phys. of, Climate, Peixoto and Oort,
1991)
Longterm meridional circulation
Haddley, Ferrel and Polar Cells
0 0
0
0
2
0
2
4
6
6
4
2
2
1
20 20 40 40 60 60 N S
10
8
6
4
2
P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
(
1
0
4
P
a
)
0
LATITUDE
39
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
40
Fig. 3 Zonal mean zonal velocity in ms1 (shaded contours) and mass stream function in
1010 kg/s (lines) for a) DTR = 20K, b) 30 K, c) 60 K, d) 130 K and e)190 K ([9]).
Stenzel and Storch (2004)
Model ECHAM (Modified) of ECMRWF
Earths rotation rate constant and equal to 24 h/day
Equatortopole temperature gradient (AT
R
) allowed to vary
Question:
What induces the formation of the threecell system of earths meridional
circulation, really?
For AT
R
= 20 K only one cell develops;
For AT
R
= 30 K two cell develop;
For AT
R
= 60 K (actual earths conditions) and AT
R
= 130 K
three cell develop;
For ATR = 190 K only two cell develop; the Polar cell
disappears!
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
41
Constructal Law
Maximization of heat flow leaving the equatorial belt To each T
H
corresponds
infinity surface partitions x=A
H
/A. One maximizes the heat flow q)
0
x
T
, 0
x
T
, 0
x
q
2
L
2
L
T
H
>
c
c
=
c
c
= 
.

\

c
c
With T
H
fixed, each curve q(x)
TH
, shows a maximum,
which defines T
L.
. Then, with both T
L
and T
H
, x may
be determined from the equation:
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
0.4 0.42 0.44 0.46 0.48
x
q
X
1
0
1
5
W
T
L
=275.56K
T
L
=275.51K
T
H
=294.1K
T
H
=294.0K
T
H
=293.9K
T
L
=275.53K
B
2
T ) x 1 ( T x
4
L
4
H
t
= +
The optimum point is determined from the
minimum T
L
and corresponds to T
L
=275.51K and
T
H
=294.0K, with x
opt.
= 0.434, which corresponds
to latitude 2540
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
42
0
x
T
, 0
x
T
, 0
x
q
2
H
2
H
T
L
<
c
c
=
c
c
= 
.

\

c
c
B
2
T ) x 1 ( T x
4
L
4
H
t
= +
The optimum point is defined by the maximum of
T
H
and corresponds to T
H
=288K e T
L
=265.5K, with
x
opt.
= 0.8, which corresponds to latitude 5310
5.8
6.2
6.4
6.6
0.75 0.8 0.85
x
q
(
X
1
0
1
5
W
)
6.0
T
L
=267.0K
T
L
=266.5K
T
L
=266.0K
T
H
=287.97K
T
H
=288.03K
T
H
=288.01K
Maximization of heat flow reaching the polar zone To each T
L
corresponds
infinity surface partitions x=A
H
/A.
Constructal Law
With T
L
fixed, each curve q(x)
Tl
, shows a maximum,
which defines T
L.
. Then, with both T
L
and T
H
, x may
be determined from the equation:
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
43
LAT=2540 N
LAT=2540 S
x=0. 43
q
q
LAT=5310 N
LAT=5310 S
x=0. 80
q
q
I
II
T
L
=275. 7K
T
L
=275. 7K
T
H
=293. 9K
T
L
=265. 5K
T
L
=265. 5K
T
H
=288. 0K
240
250
260
270
280
290
300
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
x
T
(
K
)
L
A
T
=
2
5
4
0
L
A
T
=
5
3
1
0
T
L
T
L
T
H
T
H
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
44
Average temperature on earths surface
<T>I = 0.434 293.9 K + (1 0.434) 275.5 = 283.5 K
<T>II = 0.800 288 K + (1 0.800) 265.5 = 283.5 K
Average temperature in the zone between the heat source and the heat sink
(Ferrel Cell), T
HL
=281.5K
0.434 293.5 K + (0.8 0.434)T
HL
= 0.8 288 K
3.86
3.87
3.88
3.89
3.90
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
LAT ()
S
g
e
n
(
1
0
1
4
W
/
K
)
x
=
0
.
4
3
x
=
0
.
8
Entropy generated as function of
surface partition, x

.

\

+


.

\

t o =
H L s H
2
0 gen
T
1
T
1
q
T
1
T
1
R ) 1 ( S S
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
45
The constructal optimization provided the equator to pole temperature difference
and the threecell regime of meridional circulation. The poleward heat transfer
seems to be determinant of the flow structure in line with the results of Stenzel
and von Storch (2004)
At slow rotation, the role of Earths rotation rate is determinant because it
controls the temperature gradient between dark and illuminate
hemispheres, but for values of day rotation period lower that 24 h it does
not affect significantly the position of the three cells, as shown by
Jenkins (1996)
What is behind the threecell system ?
Earths rotation rate and/or equator to pole temperature difference?
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
River basins 
Constructal theory
A. Heitor Reis (2006) Geomorphology, 78, 201206
Bejan, A., Lorente, S., Miguel, A. F. and Reis, A. H.: Constructal
theory of distribution of river sizes, 13. 4, pp. 774779, in
Bejan, A.: Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, 3rd ed.,
Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2006
46
River Douro
Length (km): 897
Drainage Area (km
2
): 97290
Discharge (m
3
/s): 488
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
47
CONSTRUCTAL THEORY (Bejan)
River basins as areatopoint flows
First construct made of elemental areas, A
0
= H
0
L
0
.
A new channel of higher permeability collects flow from the
elemental areas.
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
e
e1
e2
e3
River networks are selfsimilar structures over a range of scales
L 1 i i
R L L =
Turbulent flow
The Constructal Law in the framework of Physics
50
D2
Do
D1
Ao
D3
Ao
Do
D1
D2
D3
D4
815 0. z z
d c
= A A
Quadrupling is better than assembling 8 elements
(c)
(d)
m