Analytical solutions for thermal conduction problems are extremely important, particularly for verification of numerical codes. Temperatures and heat fluxes can be calculated very precisely, normally to eight or ten significant figures, even in situations involving large temperature gradients. It can be convenient to have a general analytical solution for a transient conduction problem in rectangular coordinates. The general solution is based on the principle that the three primary types of boundary conditions (prescribed temperature, prescribed heat flux, and convective) can all be handled using convective boundary conditions. A large convection coefficient closely approximates a prescribed temperature boundary condition and a very low convection coefficient closely approximates an insulated boundary condition. Since a dimensionless solution is used in this research, the effect of various values of dimensionless convection coefficients, or Biot number, are explored.
An understandable concern with a general analytical solution is the effect of the choice of convection coefficients on the precision of the solution, since the primary motivation for using analytical solutions is the precision offered. An investigation is made in this study to determine the effects of the choices of large and small convection coefficients on the precision of the analytical solutions generated by the general convective formulation. Results are provided, in tablular and graphical form, to illustrate the effects of the choices of convection coefficients on the precision of the general analytical solution.