RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural Convection

Thermal Drag and Critical Heat Flux for Natural Convection of Air in Vertical Parallel Plates

[+] Author and Article Information
Zeng-Yuan Guo, Xiao-Bo Wu

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China

J. Heat Transfer 115(1), 124-129 (Feb 01, 1993) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910637 History: Received July 01, 1991; Revised April 01, 1992; Online May 23, 2008


Variable property effects on vertical channel natural convection in air are studied systematically. Numerical solutions of the governing equations show that both the mass flow rate and heat transfer in the channel are not only lower than the constant property results, but also show a nonmonotonic variation with increasing wall temperature or wall heat flux. This phenomenon, which seemingly conflicts with the conventional knowledge, has also been identified by experiments. For a vertical channel with a uniform heat flux boundary condition, the wall may experience a sharp rise in temperature up to damage of the channel if the wall heat flux is greater than the critical heat flux. This implies that the crisis phenomenon (or burnout) may occur in channel natural convection in gas as well as in the boiling process.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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