RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural and Mixed Convection

Buoyancy Induced Convection in a Narrow Open-Ended Annulus

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Vafai, S. V. Iyer

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

C. P. Desai

BF Goodrich Aerospace, Troy, OH 45373

M. P. Dyko

ABS Corporation, Akron, OH 44306

J. Heat Transfer 119(3), 483-494 (Aug 01, 1997) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2824122 History: Received September 13, 1996; Revised April 03, 1997; Online December 05, 2007


Results from a combined experimental and numerical investigation of buoyancy driven flow and heat transfer in a narrow annular gap between co-axial, horizontal cylinders are presented in this work. The annulus is open at both ends through which the ambient fluid can interact with the fluid inside the gap. In the experimental study, a constant heat flux was utilized to simulate buoyancy induced convection in an open ended annular cavity with a low gap to inner cylinder radius ratio; local surface temperature measurements were made to determine heat transfer characteristics of the convective flow. The heat transfer results are correlated by Nu = 0.134(Ra*)0.264 for the range of Rayleigh numbers considered (7.09 ×108 ≤ Ra* ≤ 4.76 × 109 ) in the experiments. In the numerical investigation, solutions to the three-dimensional time-averaged (Reynolds) steady-state equations of fluid motion and heat transfer were obtained using a finite element analysis. Results of the conjugate study including the local temperature distributions, heat transfer coefficients, and the flow field showing the interactions between the ambient and cavity flow fields agree favorably with experimental results. An investigation was also carried out to study the effect of axial length and the gap width of the annulus. A correlation for the average Nusselt number as a function of Rayleigh number, axial length and gap width has been obtained. The present work provides, for the first time, an experimental and numerical study of turbulent buoyancy induced flows in a narrow open-ended annulus.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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