Stratified natural convection flow in rectangular open cavities

Morteza Nateghi, John Patterson, Steve Armfield


We explore natural convection in a two dimensional rectangular open cavity with thermally stratified ambient for both transient and steady-state flow. The left hand vertical wall of the cavity is heated and the facing right hand wall is open. The top and bottom are insulated. Numerical solutions are obtained for Rayleigh numbers varying from 10^5 to 10^10 with Prandtl number 1.0. This article focuses on the effect of stratification of the ambient fluid on the unsteady behaviour of the natural convection flow in rectangular open cavities. Results show that the flow is steady at low Rayleigh number and becomes unsteady at sufficiently high Rayleigh number (5.4x10^8). Streamline and temperature contour plots give a better understanding of the heat transfer and the flow mechanisms inside the cavity.

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ANZIAM Journal, ISSN 1446-8735, copyright Australian Mathematical Society.