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Numerical investigation of natural convection in two enclosures separated by anisotropic solid wall

Amgad Salama (Computational Transport Phenomena Laboratory, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Mohamed El Amin (Computational Transport Phenomena Laboratory, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Shuyu Sun (Computational Transport Phenomena Laboratory, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The problem of natural convection in two cavities separated by an anisotropic central solid wall is considered numerically. When the thermal conductivity of the central wall is anisotropic, heat flux and temperature gradient vectors are no longer coincidence. This apparently has interesting influences on the heat and fluid flow patterns in this system. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In this work, several flow patterns have been investigated covering a wide range of Rayleigh number up to 108. Several thermal conductivity anisotropy scenarios of the central wall have been investigated including 0, 30, 60, 120 and 150° principal anisotropy directions. The governing equations have been solved using control volume approach.

Findings

Probably the most intriguing is that, for some anisotropy scenarios it is found that the temperature at the same elevation at the side of the central wall which is closer to the colder wall is higher than that at the side closer to the hot wall. Apparently this defies intuition which suggests the reverse to have happened. However, this behavior may be explained in light of the effect of anisotropy. Furthermore, the patterns of streamlines and temperature fields in the two enclosures also changes as a consequence of the change of the central wall temperatures for the different anisotropy scenarios.

Originality/value

This work discusses a very interesting topic related to heat energy exchange among two compartments when the separating wall is anisotropic. In some anisotropy scenarios, this leads to more uniform distribution of Nusselt number than the case when the wall is isotropic. Interesting patterns of natural convection is investigated.

Keywords

Citation

Salama, A., El Amin, M. and Sun, S. (2014), "Numerical investigation of natural convection in two enclosures separated by anisotropic solid wall", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 24 No. 8, pp. 1928-1953. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-09-2013-0268

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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