Numerical investigation of transient laminar natural convection of air in a tall cavity

Z. J. Zhu, Hongxing Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Transient laminar natural convection of air in a tall cavity has been studied numerically. The Navier-Stokes and Energy equations were solved by the accurate projection method (PmIII), in which the derived Poisson equation for pressure potential was solved by the approximate factorization one method (AF1). The aspect ratio of the tall cavity is 16, and the Prandtl number of air filled in the tall cavity is 0.71. To obtain the numerical results of heat transfer by natural convection of in the tall cavity, the second order schemes for the space and time discretizations were utilized. The availability of the numerical algorithm was also assessed by considering the natural convection of air in a square cavity which is differentially heated from side walls. It was found that the overall Nusselt numbers for the Rayleigh numbers covering the range from 1000 to 100000 reveal a good agreement with measured data. When Ra takes the value in the range from 100000 to 600000, the overall Nusselt number have a relative deviation less than 18% from the experimental data. For the suddenly heating mode, the multicellular flow pattern occurs when Rayleigh number belongs to the range of Ra from 7000 to 20000, or greater than 115000. At the critical number of cats' eye instability, the cell distance is just twice of the cavity width. This is rather similar to the observed result for Bénard problem. When Ra is over 115000, a further increase of heat flux across the tall cavity causes serious cell-breaking. There are 8 cells when Ra = 600000.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalHeat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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