Steady-State Natural Convection in Empty and Partitioned Enclosures at High Rayleigh Numbers

[+] Author and Article Information
D. A. Olson, H. M. Ferm

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

L. R. Glicksman

Department of Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Heat Transfer 112(3), 640-647 (Aug 01, 1990) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910435 History: Received November 18, 1988; Revised August 21, 1989; Online May 23, 2008


Steady-state natural convection, which occurs in building enclosures (Rayleigh numbers of 1010 ), was studied experimentally in a full-scale room and in a 1:5.5 small-scale physical model containing R114 gas. The model was geometrically similar, had the same Rayleigh number, and had the same dimensionless end wall temperatures as the full-scale room. Configurations were tested with the enclosure empty, with a vertical partition extending from the floor to midheight, and with the vertical partition raised slightly off the floor. For isothermal opposing end walls at different temperatures, excellent agreement was found between the full-scale room and the scale model in flow patterns, velocity levels, temperature distributions, and heat transfer, even though the radiation heat transfer was not scaled between the two models.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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