An experimental apparatus was constructed to correlate water flow rate and temperature rise under an external band heater. Due to physical characteristics of the band heater, its transient heating behavior is unknown. This paper investigates the application of Inverse Heat Conduction Problem (IHCP) methods to characterize the heat flux from the band heater. Three experiments with different heating times (5, 10, and 20 seconds) and no flow rate were conducted to measure the transient temperature under the 400 W band heater. Type T thermocouples measure surface temperature at the centerline of the band heater. The experimental results are computed with five different heat conduction models. The models are chosen to identify how the heat flux response varies from a simplified to a realistic model. Additionally, the results of the experimental heat flux are compared to the manufacturer band heater data (58.9 kW/m2) for each model. The minimum time needed for the heater to fully energize the system is from 10 to 12 seconds. The residuals for each model are analyzed and are used to evaluate the appropriateness of the five different models.

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