RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural and Mixed Convection

Plume Dynamics in Natural Convection in a Horizontal Cylindrical Annulus

[+] Author and Article Information
C. E. Fisher

Fiber Optics and Electronics Technology Center, 3M Company, Building A143-5N-01, 6801 River Place Boulevard, Austin TX 78726-9000

K. S. Ball

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1063

J. Heat Transfer 121(3), 598-602 (Aug 01, 1999) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826021 History: Received February 02, 1998; Revised March 02, 1999; Online December 05, 2007


Measurements of the unsteady temperature fluctuations in the plume region between differentially heated horizontal concentric cylinders are reported. In particular, power spectral density estimates of the temperature fluctuations within the plume show the development and breakdown of the oscillatory plume structure at high Rayleigh number, Rad , by two relatively independent processes: (1) the development of harmonic oscillations related to the dominant plume oscillation frequency, and (2) interactions between the oscillating plume and the adjacent relatively stagnant core flow (shear and entrainment). The harmonic oscillations are shown to be the dominant energy transfer mode at moderate Rad (up to Rad = 108 ), acting to disperse the plume energy without generating a broadband spectrum. The spectral density estimates show that while a distinct plume oscillation is still present near the inner cylinder at Rad = 109 , the plume becomes increasingly turbulent as the outer cylinder is approached. A new correlation for the plume oscillation frequency, which is found to be proportional to Rad0.5, is also presented.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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