A superposition method is proposed whereby the temperature pattern around a single buried heat source at a given temperature is used to arrive at the pattern obtained when several heat sources at the same temperature are placed at any distance apart. An equation is derived to give the “strength ratio,” which is defined as the ratio of heat dissipated by one of a series of buried heat sources of equal temperature to the heat dissipated by a single heat source at the same temperature. This equation is plotted for a specific case to show the “strength ratio” as a function of heat-source spacing. Experimental temperature-distribution patterns around a heated tube buried in a box of sand are shown for the center tube of a group of three tubes. Although the proposed superposition method is subject to an inherent error, which may be severe at very close spacing of heat sources, the agreement between experimental and calculated results for the cases investigated in this work is good.

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