RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural and Mixed Convection

Flow and Mixed Convection Heat Transfer in a Divergent Heated Vertical Channel

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Gau, T. M. Huang

Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

W. Aung

College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

J. Heat Transfer 118(3), 606-615 (Aug 01, 1996) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822675 History: Received February 24, 1995; Revised March 29, 1996; Online December 05, 2007


This paper concerns an experimental study of the mixed convection flow and heat transfer inside a divergent channel formed by two plane walls. One of the side walls is oriented vertically and is heated uniformly, and the opposite wall is tilted at an angle of 3 deg with respect to the vertical position and is insulated. The ratio of the height to wall spacing at the flow inlet, which is at the smaller opening of the channel is 15. The Reynolds number of the main forced flow ranges from 100 to 4000 and the buoyancy parameter, Gr/Re2 , varies from 0.3 to 907. Flow reversal is found to occur for both assisted and opposed convection. The effect of channel divergence on the occurrence and structure of the reversed flow and the heat transfer is presented and discussed. It is found that the divergence of the channel decelerates the mainstream such that flow reversal is initiated at a much lower buoyancy parameter. The adverse pressure gradient tends to push the reversed flow upstream and leads to a deeper penetration of the reversed flow into the channel The destabilization effect of the divergent channel can lead to breakdown of vortices and to transition to turbulent flow. This can significantly enhance the heat transfer. Temperature fluctuation measurements at different locations are used to indicate oscillations and fluctuations of the reversed flow. The effect of the buoyancy parameter on the Nusselt number and the reversed flow structure is discussed. The average Nusselt number is determined and correlated in terms of relevant nondimensional parameters for pure forced and mixed convection, respectively.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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