Computational simulations of experiments of buoyancy-influenced turbulent flow and convective heat transfer in a vertical plane passage

J. Wang, J. Li, Shuisheng He, J. D. Jackson

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Computational simulations are reported of some recent experiments on turbulent variable-property mixed convection to air flowing upwards and downwards through a vertical plane passage, one wall of which was uniformly heated. In addition to heat transfer from that wall by convection, there was some radiative heat transfer to the opposite wall. In the experimental study, measurements were made of profiles of velocity and turbulence within the flow, and also local values of convective heat transfer coefficient were determined along the heated wall. The Reynolds number was varied from 44 000 down to 7000 and the Grashof number from 3.0 x 10(8) to 9.0 x 0(9). To simulate the experiments by computational means, the governing equations for variable-property buoyancy-influenced two-dimensional turbulent flow and heat transfer in Reynolds-averaged form were solved using an elliptic formulation in conjunction with two well-known low-Reynolds-number k-epsilon turbulence models. In this paper, results from the computational study are compared directly with experiment. In general, the observed effects of buoyancy on flow and heat transfer were satisfactorily reproduced but there were some clear discrepancies between the predictions and the experimental results, especially with downward flow under conditions where the influence of buoyancy was strong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1397
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • mixed convection
  • buoyancy
  • turbulent flow
  • heat transfer
  • plane passage
  • computational modelling

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