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Finite element analysis of natural convection flow in a
isosceles triangular enclosure due to uniform and
non-uniform heating at the side walls

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhmt

Finite element analysis of natural convection ﬂow in a isosceles triangular enclosure due to uniform and non-uniform heating at the side walls

Tanmay Basak a, S. Roy b, S. Krishna Babu b, A.R. Balakrishnan a,*

a

Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India b Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India Received 16 March 2007; received in revised form 10 December 2007 Available online 10 March 2008

Abstract A penalty ﬁnite element analysis with bi-quadratic elements is carried out to investigate the eﬀects of uniform and non-uniform heating of inclined walls on natural convection ﬂows within a isosceles triangular enclosure. Two cases of thermal boundary conditions are considered; case I: two inclined walls are uniformly heated while the bottom wall is cold isothermal and case II: two inclined walls are non-uniformly heated while the bottom wall is cold isothermal. The numerical solution of the problem is presented for various Rayleigh numbers (Ra), (103 6 Ra 6 106 ) and Prandtl numbers (Pr), (0:026 6 Pr 6 1000). It has been found that at small Prandtl numbers, geometry does not have much inﬂuence on ﬂow structure while at Pr ¼ 1000, the stream function contours are nearly triangular showing that geometry has considerable eﬀect on the ﬂow pattern. In addition, the presence of multiple circulations are observed for small Pr ðPr ¼ 0:026Þ which causes wavy distribution of local Nusselt number. It is observed that non-uniform heating produces greater heat transfer rates at the center of the walls than the uniform heating; however, average Nusselt numbers show overall lower heat transfer rates for the non-uniform heating case. Critical Rayleigh numbers for conduction dominant heat transfer cases have been obtained and for convection dominant regimes, power law correlations between average Nusselt number and Rayleigh numbers are presented for speciﬁc Prandtl numbers. Ó 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Penalty ﬁnite element method; Natural convection; Triangular enclosure; Non-uniform heating

1. Introduction Natural convection in a enclosed cavity is important in many engineering applications and in particular, triangular enclosure has received a considerable attention because of its applicability in various ﬁelds such as Energy related applications, for example: thermal insulation of buildings using air gaps, solar energy collectors, furnaces and ﬁre control in building etc. [1].

Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 44 2257 4154; fax: +91 44 2257 0509. E-mail addresses: tanmay@iitm.ac.in (T. Basak), sjroy@iitm.ac.in (S. Roy), arbala@iitm.ac.in (A.R. Balakrishnan). 0017-9310/$ - see front matter Ó 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2007.12.018

*

Geophysical applications, for example: diﬀerential heating and cooling in lakes, pollutants diﬀusion in sea and natural convection in reservoir sidearms etc. [2]. Among the earlier reported studies for triangular enclosures, Karyakin et al. [3] and Holtzman et al. [4] described laminar natural convection in isosceles triangular enclosures heated from below and symmetrically cooled from above. Buoyancy driven ﬂows are complex because of essential coupling between the transport properties of the ﬂow and thermal ﬁelds. A literature survey shows that a comprehensive review of these problems is well documented in a recent book by Bejan [5]. Further, Del Campo et al. [6] modeled natural convection in triangular

Their investigation is based on a symmetric boundary condition for a system with heating from below. m2 sÀ1 density. m sÀ2 Jacobian of residual equations thermal conductivity. KÀ1 enclosures using Galerkin ﬁnite element method with a stream function – vorticity formulation of steady state equations of motion for A = 0.Y acceleration due to gravity. They applied the asymptotic methods of Cormack et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 4497 Nomenclature g J k L N Nu p P Pr R Ra T Th Tc u. g h m q U w penalty parameter horizontal and vertical coordinates in a unit square. These boundary conditions resemble summer day boundary conditions where the outside temperature is hot and inside temperature is cold. . The solutions obtained were symmetric about midplane. respectively c n. In particular. V C θ= 1 or Sin (πY) θ= 1 or Sin (πY) g A θ=0 B X. Nicolette et al. The geometry of the triangular enclo- sure with boundary conditions is shown in Fig. One of the ways for handling the problem is assuming the average temperature of the two walls at the corner and keeping the adjacent grid-nodes at the respective wall temperatures similar to the earlier works of square Y. The jump discontinuities in Dirichlet type of wall boundary conditions at the corner points (see Fig. K temperature of cold vertical wall. kg mÀ3 basis functions stream function Subscripts b bottom wall i residual number k node number l left wall r right wall Superscript n Newton iterative index Greek symbols a thermal diﬀusivity. The extensive research based on various numerical simulations reported by Patterson and Imberger [9]. U Fig. 1. 1) correspond to computational singularities. Fusegi et al. respectively dimensionless distances along x and y coordinates. v U. Basak et al. the singularity at the bottom corner nodes needs special attention. K x and y components of dimensional velocities. Hyun and Lee [11]. This led to the criteria for the existence of distinct thermal and viscous layers along both the walls in steady state. respectively dimensionless temperature kinematic viscosity. m total number of nodes local Nusselt number pressure.2–20 (where A is the aspect ratio) and Gr = 103–106. m2 sÀ1 b volume expansion coeﬃcient. This physical complexity in conﬁned convection is not only a topic for analysis but has equal signiﬁcance for numerical and experimental investigations. Schematic diagram of the physical system. K temperature of hot bottom wall. respectively x and y components of dimensionless velocities. V X. [10]. The aim of the present paper is to study the circulations and temperature distributions within the triangular enclosure and heat transfer rate at the walls in terms of local and average Nusselt numbers for uniform and non-uniform heating cases. Poulikakos and Bejan [7] investigated the ﬂuid dynamics inside a triangular enclosure with cold upper wall and horizontal bottom wall. W mÀ1 KÀ1 height of the triangular cavity. [12] establish that several attempts have been made to acquire a basic understanding of natural convection ﬂows and heat transfer characteristics in an enclosure. 1.T. [8] to ﬁnd approximate steady state regime and temperature distributions inside a triangle when aspect ratio of the enclosure is vanishingly small. Pa dimensionless pressure Prandtl number residual of weak form Rayleigh number temperature.

The dimensionless form of the governing equations for steady natural convection ﬂow using conservation of mass. (7). Since the solution procedure is explained in an earlier work [14]. Pr ¼ . 81 6 X 6 2: ð6Þ hi oU i . Y Þ ¼ 1 or sinðpY Þ on BC. Using Eq. U ðX . Governing equations The ﬂuid properties are assumed to be constant except the density variation which was determined according to the Boussinesq approximation which is commonly used in buoyancy driven ﬂow.16]. (8) and (9) with boundary conditions is solved by using Galerkin ﬁnite element method [15]. V Þ and stream function (w) is evaluated using the relationship between the stream function (w) and the velocity components [17]. 80 6 X 6 1. oY ð11Þ ð12Þ 9 X 1 oUi 1 oUi þ pﬃﬃﬃ hi À pﬃﬃﬃ 2 oX 2 oY i¼1 . Y ¼ 2 À X . the positive Y X sign of w denotes anti-clockwise circulation and the clockwise circulation is represented by the negative sign of w. the detailed description is not included in this paper. where the stream function (w) is deﬁned in the usual way ow ow as U ¼ o and V ¼ À o . This approach provides the satisfactory results. 80 6 X 6 2. Ra ¼ a m2 qa ð1Þ and the governing equations are: oU oV þ ¼ 0. L L a a Th À Tc pL2 m gbðT h À T c ÞL3 Pr . Solution procedure and post-processing The momentum and energy balance equations (Eqs.4498 T. Numerical results are obtained to display the circulations and temperature distributions within the triangle and the heat transfer rate for both the walls in terms of local and average Nusselt numbers. we have used Galerkin ﬁnite element method with penalty parameter to solve the non-linear coupled partial diﬀerential equations governing ﬂow and temperature ﬁelds for both uniform and sinusoidally varying temperature distribution prescribed at side walls. hðX . 1) U ðX . Y Þ ¼ 0 ¼ V ðX . Y Þ. P ¼ 2 . hðX . It may be noted that. Y Þ ¼ 0 ¼ V ðX . 0Þ ¼ 0 ¼ V ðX . The numerical solutions are obtained in terms of the velocity components ðU . hence w ¼ 0 is used for the boundaries. Non-orthogonal grid generation has been done with isoparametric mapping [15. (3)– (5)) are solved using the Galerkin ﬁnite element method. Typical value of c that yields consistent solutions is 107 . the momentum balance Eqs. Y Þ. The essence of Boussinesq approximation is that the diﬀerence in inertia is neglected but gravity is suﬃciently strong to make the speciﬁc weight appreciably diﬀerent between the two liquids of diﬀerent temperatures. In the current study. 0Þ. Singularity does not appear in case of sinusoidally heated wall. Y Þ ¼ 1 or sinðpY Þ on AC. 0Þ ¼ 0 on AB. hðX . / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 cavity [13. oX oY oX 2 oY 2 ð2Þ ð3Þ ð4Þ ð5Þ 3. momentum and energy can be obtained with the following variables: x y uL vL T À Tc X ¼ . 2. h¼ . and the thermal equilibrium of the system is explained in terms of heat transfer rates along the left and right walls. ð 8Þ oX oY oX oX oY oX 2 oY 2 2 oV oV o oU oV o V o2 V þV ¼c þ þ U þ Pr þ RaPrh: oX oY oY oX oY oX 2 oY 2 ð 9Þ The system of equations (5). (3)–(5). The local Nusselt numbers at bottom wall ðNub Þ.14]. V ¼ . In order to solve Eqs. The heat transfer coeﬃcient in terms of the local Nusselt number (Nu) is deﬁned by Nu ¼ À oh . the penalty ﬁnite element method is used where the pressure P is eliminated by a penalty parameter c and the incompressibility criteria given by Eq. oX oY oY oX 2 oY 2 U oh oh o2 h o2 h þV ¼ þ . oX oY oX oX 2 oY 2 2 oV oV oP o V o2 V þV ¼À þ Pr U þ þ RaPrh. U¼ . (3) and (4) reduce to 2 oU oU o oU oV o U o2 U þV ¼c þ U þ þ Pr . The complete explanation about grid generation using iso-parametric mapping is given in Appendix A. on ð10Þ where n denotes the normal direction on a plane. The no-slip condition is valid at all boundaries as there is no cross ﬂow. U ðX . Basak et al. The continuity equation (2) is used as a constraint due to mass conservation and this constraint may be used to obtain the pressure distribution. left wall ðNul Þ and right wall ðNur Þ are deﬁned as Nub ¼ À Nul ¼ and Nur ¼ 9 X 1 oU i 1 oUi þ pﬃﬃﬃ hi pﬃﬃﬃ : 2 oX 2 oY i¼1 ð13Þ 9 X i¼1 with the boundary conditions (see Fig. Y ¼ . Y ¼ X . oX oY 2 oU oU oP o U o2 U þV ¼À þ Pr U þ . (2) results in oU oV þ : ð 7Þ P ¼ Àc oX oY The continuity equation (2) is automatically satisﬁed for large values of c.

2. 2 and the procedure is outlined in Appendix A. In the current investigation. For brevity. the Rayleigh number is varied from 103 to 106 for a ﬁxed Prandtl number. The bi-quadratic elements with lesser number of nodes smoothly capture the non-linear variations of the ﬁeld variables which are in contrast with ﬁnite diﬀerence/ﬁnite volume solutions available in the literature [18.1. Results and discussion 4. . (a) The mapping of triangular domain to a square domain in n À g coordinate system and (b) the mapping of an individual element to a single element in n À g coordinate system. Local and average Nusselt numbers are evaluated for all the cases. the Nusselt numbers for ﬁnite diﬀerence/ ﬁnite volume based methods are calculated at any surface using some interpolation functions which are now avoided in the current work. For the two cases (Cases I and II) considered here. 4. The comparative study was made for uniform and non-uniform heating of the side walls. The present ﬁnite element approach oﬀers special advantage on evaluation of local Nusselt number at the left. 1. Uniform heating of side walls (case I) Figs.T. 4.19]. In general. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 4499 The average Nusselt numbers at the bottom and side walls are R2 Z Nub dX 1 2 Nub ¼ 0 ¼ Nub dX ð14Þ 2 0 X j2 0 and 1 Nul ¼ Nur ¼ pﬃﬃﬃ 2 Z 0 pﬃﬃ 2 Nul dS : ð15Þ Here dS denotes the elemental length along the side walls of the triangle as seen in Fig. 2. The detailed analysis has been shown in various sections as follows. Basak et al. Gaussian quadrature based ﬁnite element method provides the smooth solutions at the interior domain including the corner regions as evaluation of residuals depends on interior Gauss points and thus the eﬀect of corner nodes are less pronounced in the ﬁnal solution. Numerical tests The computational domain in n À g coordinates (see Appendix A) consists of 20 Â 20 bi-quadratic elements which correspond to 41 Â 41 grid points. only the most important results are presented in the following sections. It may be noted that the computational grid in the triangular domain is generated via mapping the triangular domain into a square domain in n À g coordinate system as shown in Fig. right and bottom walls as the element basis functions are used to evaluate the heat ﬂux [13]. while the plots are obtained for Pr = 0. 3–8 illustrate the stream function and isotherm contours when the side walls are uniformly heated while the bottom wall is maintained at constant cold tempera- a Y η Mapping X ξ η b Y 6 3 9 2 5 8 Mapping 3 6 9 1 2 4 7 5 8 X Global co−ordinate system 1 4 7 Local co−ordinate system ξ Fig.026– 1000.

respectively.6 −0.8 0. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls.01 2 0.01 0. TEMPERATURE.01 0.3 0. with Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case I).1 −0. respectively.3 0.7 0.2 0.0 5 Fig.9 −1. hðX . 6.9 0. Y Þ ¼ 1.1 −0. hðX .2 0. hðX . respectively. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function.3 1.01 0. hðX .01 0.01 0.8 0. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall.1 Fig. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall. At low .4 0. the left half of axis of symmetry gives clock wise circulations whereas right half of axis of symmetry gives anti-clockwise circulation pattern. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function. ψ 0. ture.85 0.9 0.5 0. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall.1 0. hðX .01 −0.7 0. θ STREAM FUNCTION.3 0.3 0.6 0.1 Fig. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function.4 0.9 0.5 0.5 0.05 0.5 0.1 −0.05 1 Fig.6 0.5 0.4500 T. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function.05 3 2.6 0.4 0. Consequently.2 2.1 0.8 0. respectively. θ STREAM FUNCTION.3 −0. the ﬂuid near the hot inclined walls move upward resulting in two oppositely rotating circulations in the enclosure with eye of vortices located at the center of each half of the crosssection. hðX .5 2 0.5 0.1 0. ψ −0.9 0.85 0. Y Þ ¼ 1. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 TEMPERATURE.2 0.4 −0.6 −1. hðX . hðX .5 0. The ﬂuid near the inclined portion of the enclosures is hotter than the ﬂuid near the cold bottom wall and hence the ﬂuid near the inclined walls have lower density than those near the cold bottom wall. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall. ψ 0.8 0. TEMPERATURE. with Ra ¼ 7 Â 105 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case I).6 0. 4. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls. with Ra ¼ 105 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case I).9 0. 5. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls.6 0.7 0.01 0.4 0.4 0. ψ 0. with Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case I).9 0.6 1. TEMPERATURE.7 0. Y Þ ¼ 1. Basak et al. It is observed that. θ STREAM FUNCTION. Y Þ ¼ 1. θ STREAM FUNCTION. 3.

9 0. As seen in Figs.7 0. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 4501 TEMPERATURE. the heat transfer is mostly due to conduction. 4. θ STREAM FUNCTION. the circulations near the central regime are stronger and consequently the temperature contours with h P 0:2 are found to be compressed towards the bottom wall. Non-uniform heating of side walls (case II) Figs. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall. 3). As Rayleigh number increases to 7 Â 105 for Pr ¼ 0:026. . ψ 0. as Pr increases from 0. the secondary circulations are suppressed and due to increase of Pr. with Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 0:7 (Case I).3 5.4 0.026 to 0. Y Þ ¼ 1. hðX .6 0. As Ra further increases to Ra ¼ 106 for Pr ¼ 0:026 (see Fig. It is observed that the isotherms are compressed towards the bottom wall as seen in Fig. The critical Rayleigh number (for this case: Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 ) may be obtained from asymptotes of average Nusselt number vs Rayleigh number plot as discussed later. 6) the temperature contours with 0:9 6 h 6 0:7 within the domain further condense near the central regime due to stronger secondary circulations. uniform heating of inclined walls causes a ﬁnite discontinuity in Dirichlet type of boundary conditions for the temperature distribution at both edges of the bottom wall. The temperature contours are smooth curves which span the entire enclosure and they are generally symmetric with respect to vertical center line.1 0. Y Þ ¼ 1. In addition. It is also seen that secondary circulations are developed near to the intersection of the inclined walls. Basak et al. isotherms are further compressed towards the bottom wall and therefore the deformation occurs in the stream function near the central symmetric line (see Fig. hðX . the temperature contours with h P 0:7 start getting deformed near the central regime due to secondary circula- tions. 7. Comparative studies on Figs.5 Fig. As Pr increases from 0. Rayleigh number. At Ra ¼ 105 and Pr ¼ 0:026. with Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 1000 (Case I).7 0.4 0.7 0.6 0.5 3.2 Fig. hðX . Similar situation is also observed for Pr ¼ 1000 as seen in Fig.3 0. ψ 0. It may also be noted that the regime near the top corner has no signiﬁcant thermal gradient resulting in no circulations. At Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 and Pr ¼ 0:026.7 to 1000. The presence of signiﬁcant convection is also exhibited in the temperature contours which get pushed towards the central portion of the bottom wall. In contrast.2 4.1 0. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function.7 2.6 0. The circulations are greater near the center and least at the wall due to no-slip boundary conditions.5 0. 8.2 1 1. the temperature contours for h P 0:2 start getting deformed towards the bottom wall (Fig. It may be noted that conduction is dominant below the critical Ra. TEMPERATURE. 5). the buoyancy driven circulation inside the cavity also increases as seen from the greater magnitudes of the stream function (see Fig. This illustrates that at small Ra. the stream functions. 4). Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function. θ STREAM FUNCTION.7.3 0. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls. At Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 0:7. the isotherm lines are smooth and monotonic and the magnitudes of the stream function contours are quite small.8 0.T. 0Þ ¼ 0 and uniformly heated inclined walls. the values of stream function and isotherms in the core cavity increase. the strength of primary circulations is increased as seen in Fig.8 0. 9–11 illustrate the stream function and isotherm contours when the inclined walls are non-uniformly heated via sinusoidal functions. respectively. It may be seen that the greater circulations due to higher Pr lead to elliptical stream function deformed towards the corner portions of bottom wall. 4.5 0. 7 and 8 show that.3. 3–8. except at the central regime are almost triangular indicating higher intensity of ﬂows. 7. At high Pr. Eﬀects of Prandtl number for various Rayleigh numbers on local and average Nusselt number are discussed later in detail. 8. hðX . respectively. Temperature and stream function contours for cold bottom wall.9 0.9 1.

This further pushes the temperature contours near the center of the bottom wall. the isotherms with h 6 0:6 are pushed further towards the bottom wall and consequently the temperature gradients near the bottom wall are signiﬁcant.5 0. with Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 1000 (Case II). It is interesting to observe that the top portion of the side wall within the cavity have signiﬁcant thermal gradient and that results in stronger circulations compared to the uniform heating case. TEMPERATURE.7 13 0. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function.9 0. This is due to the fact that the strong 0.01 Fig. hðX .5 0. Temperature and stream function contours for cooled bottom wall.9 0. At Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 . ψ 0. hðX .3 0. STREAM FUNCTION. 9). 0Þ ¼ 0 and non-uniformly heated inclined walls. Y Þ ¼ sinðpY Þ. 11. it is observed that the greater circulations pushes the isotherms towards the side walls and bottom wall as seen in Fig. θ 0.1 Fig.8 7 4 2 0. the non-uniform heating removes the singularity at the edges of bottom wall and provides a smooth temperature distribution in the entire enclosure.7 0. In contrast. hðX . 0Þ ¼ 0 and non-uniformly heated inclined walls.4502 T.7 0. hðX .6 0. θ 0. 11. . 9.1 STREAM FUNCTION.4 0. In addition. the heating rate near the bottom corners of the inclined walls is generally lower.7 0.7 0. Basak et al.8 0.5 0. Simulations indicate that the isotherms are almost smooth and parallel and magnitude of stream function is very low at smaller Ra (ﬁgure not shown).6 0.9 0.3 0. θ STREAM FUNCTION. respectively. Y Þ ¼ sinðpY Þ.5 0.3 0. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function. 10).3 0. In addition. As Pr increases further to Pr ¼ 1000 for Ra ¼ 106 . TEMPERATURE.9 0.6 0.1 1 0. respectively. Y Þ ¼ sinðpY Þ.9 0.4 0. the secondary circulations also occur near the center of the bottom wall.5 6 0.1 4 Fig. Clockwise and anti-clockwise ﬂows are shown with negative and positive signs of stream function. the isotherms with h 6 0:5 start getting pushed towards the bottom wall (see Fig.2 0.4 0. the intensity of circulations near the bottom corner point is large for uniform heating and large thermal gradient occurs near the bottom wall. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 TEMPERATURE.5 0. 0Þ ¼ 0 and non-uniformly heated inclined walls.4 0.8 3. At Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 0:026. the greater circulations near the top corner pushes the isotherms within a very narrow region at the vertex and that results in large thermal gradient at the top corner point.8 0. Similar situations are also observed for uniform heating case.6 0.3 0. ψ 0.4 0.5 0.2 0 .1 2.1 0. respectively.7 0.2 0. with Ra ¼ 106 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case II). hðX . hðX . Temperature and stream function contours for cooled bottom wall. It may be noted that the conduction dominant heat transfer is observed upto Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 .9 0. 10.1 primary circulations occur near the bottom wall (Fig.4 0 .3 0.6 0.2 0.8 0.5 0. ψ 0. Results indicate that the strength of the circulations is more for non-uniform heating case than uniform heating.5 0. Temperature and stream function contours for cooled bottom wall.2 0.8 0. Due to non-uniform heating of inclined walls. with Ra ¼ 2 Â 104 and Pr ¼ 0:026 (Case II).3 0.

Nus Inclined Wall 10 Pr=1000. In case of uniform heating of the bottom wall (see Fig.2 Distance. The central regime of the bottom wall (X ¼ 1) corresponds to large Nu as the compression of the isotherms occurs due to the presence of secondary circulations near the central regime of the bottom wall.8 1 1.6 0. At the inclined wall (see Fig. Heat transfer rates: local Nusselt numbers Fig. As Ra increases from 103 to 105 .4 0. the non-uniform heating strategy produces a sinusoidal type of local heat transfer rate with its maximum value at the center and edges of bottom wall. Therefore. the local Nusselt number curve for Ra ¼ 103 shows monotonic decrease from bottom edge to a certain region near to top edge of the inclined wall and local Nu has a maximum value at the top edge of the inclined wall due to the compression of isotherms. The current ﬁnite element method based analysis is quite robust to establish the thermal equilibrium and the investigations on thermal equilibrium were not reported by earlier works which are based on ﬁnite volume or ﬁnite diﬀerence methods.6 1. Ra= 105 5 0 0. 4. 13). there is a maximum value of thermal gradient at X ¼ 1 due to the presence of secondary circulations and that results in maximum local heat transfer rate ðNuÞ at about X ¼ 1.2 0.026. Overall heat transfer and average Nusselt numbers a Local Nusselt Number. Note that. The critical Rayleigh number is obtained from the semi-log plot of average Nusselt number versus Rayleigh number and at the critical Rayleigh number the transition from conduction dominant mode into convection dominant mode takes place. 12. Fig.T.8 Distance. numerical values of the average Nusselt numbers on bottom and inclined walls are compared and it pﬃﬃis ﬃ found that the average Nu of bottom wall is nearly 2 times of average Nu (within 1% of inclined wall as the length of the inclined wall perror) ﬃﬃﬃ is 2.4 1. Ra= 10 3 5 0 0. . In the case of non-uniform heating (see Fig. Y 1 1. there are two local maxima of local Nusselt number for the inclined wall as the isotherms are compressed near the top corner and the bottom portion of inclined wall. 12b). the increase in average Nusselt number with Rayleigh number is monotonic for small Pr (see Fig. At the inclined wall (see Fig. Nub Bottom Wall 10 Pr=0. It is seen that the spatial distribution of local Nusselt number for the inclined wall at higher Rayleigh numbers is wavy in nature. the local Nusselt number is almost constant for Ra ¼ 103 throughout the bottom wall due to conduction dominant mode of heat transfer.5. Ra= 103 Pr=0. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 4503 4. isotherm lines are pushed towards the bottom wall from the inclined walls due to the presence of secondary circulations. since the variation of average Nusselt number with Rayleigh number is not monotonic. 12a). heat transfer rate is maximum at the bottom edge and minimum at the top edge for all Rayleigh numbers.026.8 b Local Nusselt Number.026. at the junction of bottom wall.4 0. 13 illustrate the average Nusselt number variations along the bottom and inclined walls for various Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers. At Pr ¼ 1000. the thermal gradients are relatively more and therefore the heat transfer rate is maximum at the bottom edge of the inclined wall. For non-uniform heating case.6 0. 12a and b display the eﬀects of Ra and Pr on the local Nusselt number at the cold bottom wall and hot inclined walls. Basak et al. As Ra increases from 103 to 105 . Ra= 105 Pr=1000. the heat transfer rate is very high at these corners and it reduces towards the middle of the bottom wall as the compression of thermal contours is minimum at the middle for Ra = 103.-) heated inclined walls and cold isothermal bottom wall.4. the local Nusselt number have more wavy distributions for smaller Prandtl number (Pr ¼ 0:026) as seen in Fig. due to presence of discontinuity in the temperature boundary condition at the edges of bottom wall.026. As a veriﬁcation of the thermal equilibrium of the present steady state system.2 Fig. 12b due to stronger primary and secondary circulations. X 1. Variation of local Nusselt number with distance for Pr ¼ 0:026 and 1000 at (a) bottom wall (b) inclined wall for uniformly (—) and nonuniformly (. It may be remarked that the overall heat transfer rate (average Nusselt number) is less in non-uniform heating as compared to uniform heating due to less heat input to the system for all Prandtl number regimes. Thus. 12b). Ra= 105 Pr=0.. Ra= 105 Pr=0. 12a).2 0. It is also observed that the correlations of average Nusselt numbers and Rayleigh numbers could not be established for Pr ¼ 1000. It is seen that the average Nusselt number increases signiﬁcantly with Prandtl number in the case of uniform heating.

25 2 3 10 104 105 1.75 Average Nusselt Number 1. . The following correlations with Prandtl numbers (Pr ¼ 0:026 and 0. As Ra increases further for Pr ¼ 0:026. Variation of average Nusselt number with Rayleigh number for uniformly heated [(a) and (b)] and non-uniformly heated inclined walls [(c) and (d)] with Pr ¼ 0:026.75 10 5 2. The insets show the log–log plot of average Nusselt number vs. the temperature contour lines get compressed towards central regime of the bottom wall. 4 Pr ¼ 0:026 Pr ¼ 0:7 ð17Þ .5 Inclined Wall Average Nusselt Number Average Nusselt Number 4. The insets show the log–log plot for average Nusselt number vs Rayleigh number for convection dominant regimes. 4 Pr ¼ 0:026 Pr ¼ 0:7 ð16Þ . Ra P 4:0 Â 10 .5 2. ¼ 4:6013Ra 0:0190 5.25 3 10 104 105 3. Conclusions The prime objective of the current investigation is to analyze the temperature and ﬂow ﬁeld with detailed analysis on heat transfer evaluation for natural convection in triangular enclosure. Ra Bottom Wall 3 Inclined Wall 2 Average Nusselt Number 2. 13. the isotherm lines are smooth and monotonic and heat transfer is primarily due to conduction. Ra P 2:0 Â 10 .75 5.4504 T. Basak et al.75 10 5 4 10 5 5.Ra Rayleigh Number. The log–log linear plot is obtained with more than 20 data sets. At the onset of convection dominant mode.7) are obtained for case I (uniform heating) and case II (non-uniform heating) as follows: Case I: Uniform heating of inclined walls pﬃﬃﬃ Nub ¼ 2Nus ¼ 5:0464Ra0:0101 .Ra Rayleigh Number. ¼ 1:7249Ra 0:0260 Ra P 2:0 Â 104 .-). / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 Bottom Wall 6 4. It was observed that the conduction heat transfer mode was dominant upto Ra 6 2 Â 104 during uniform and non-uniform heating of the side walls with Pr ¼ 0:026. Case II: Non-uniform heating of inclined walls pﬃﬃﬃ Nub ¼ 2Nus ¼ 1:6130Ra0:0330 . Results indicate that at low Rayleigh number (Ra ¼ 103 ).5 3 10 104 105 Rayleigh Number. The penalty ﬁnite element method helps to obtain smooth solutions in terms of stream function and isotherm contours for wide ranges of RaðRa ¼ 103 À 106 Þ and PrðPr ¼ 0:026 À 1000Þ with uniform and non-uniform heating of the side walls.. (—) and Pr ¼ 0:7 (.25 5.5 3. Rayleigh number for convection dominant regimes. Ra Fig.25 3 10 104 105 Rayleigh Number.5 10 5 1. A least square curve is ﬁtted and the overall error is limited within 1%. the isotherm contours are pushed more towards the bottom wall and the secondary circulations Ra P 2:0 Â 104 .

Asymptotic theory. The average Nusselt number illustrates overall lower heat transfer rates for sinusoidal heating cases.A. Cambridge University Press. [9] J.E. Fluid 32 (2002) 590–599. Int. For non-uniform heating case. [19] R. Transient cooling by natural convection in a two dimensional enclosure. It is observed that the local Nusselt numbers are maximum at the bottom corner points and due to secondary circulations. Nicolette. Manage. I.W. Poulikakos. Heat Transfer 122 (2000) 485–491. [5] A. Appendix A The name iso-parametric derives from the fact that the same parametric function describing the geometry may be used for interpolating spatial variable within an element. [11] J. A. the local Nusselt number distribution show wavy nature for high Ra with Pr ¼ 0:026 for both uniform and non-uniform heating cases. 1993. Comput.M. 122 (1995) 107–117. the sinusoidal distribution of local Nusselt number at the inclined wall is observed for all Prandtl number regimes.T. Analysis of laminar natural convection in a triangular enclosure.N. 45 (2004) 391–409.A.M. [13] S. McGraw-Hill. J. Batchelor. Sen. Yang. Lee. Del Campo. Roy. K. Roy. Phys. 131 (1983) 251–269. Laminar natural convection in isosceles triangular enclosures heated from below and symmetrically cooled from above. Energy Buildings 33 (2001) 753–757. Lei. Numerical simulation of buoyant ﬂow in a roof of triangular cross section under winter day boundary conditions.K. 65 (1974) 209–229. T. Heat Fluid Flow 10 (1989) 146–151. J. Martynenko. [2] C. J. Eﬀects of thermal boundary conditions on natural convection ﬂows within a square cavity. 2004. A. [18] H. NY. [3] Yu. Chung. Basak. Sokovishin. An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics. J. The transformation between ðx. J. NJU.A.G. 2002. E. Lloyd. Unsteady natural convection in a rectangular cavity. 1993. y k Þ are the X.M. At high Prandtl numbers geometry has considerable eﬀect. An Introduction to the Finite Element Method. J. L. The nine basis functions are: U1 ¼ ð1 À 3n þ 2n2 Þð1 À 3g þ 2g2 Þ U2 ¼ ð1 À 3n þ 2n2 Þð4g À 4g2 Þ U3 ¼ ð1 À 3n þ 2n2 ÞðÀg þ 2g2 Þ U4 ¼ ðÀn þ 2n2 Þð1 À 3g þ 2g2 Þ U5 ¼ ðÀn þ 2n2 Þð4g À 4g2 Þ U6 ¼ ðÀn þ 2n2 ÞðÀg þ 2g2 Þ . It has been observed that at lower Prandtl number.026 to 1000. as Pr increases from 0. J. [10] V. Eng. K. Yu.P. Hussein. 2 shows a triangular domain with trapezoidal elements with the mapping to a square domain. A. Int. Further results show that. The ﬂuid dynamics of an attic space. the lower Prandtl number corresponds to more secondary circulations and ﬂow separations. gÞ is the basis function. J. [12] T. S. It is also found that at small Prandtl numbers geometry does not have much inﬂuence on ﬂow structure. Hyun.W. Leal. the values of stream function and isotherms in the core cavity increase. viscous-ﬂow in a triangular cavity. J. J. Fluid Mech. [15] J. Part 1. y Þ and ðn. [6] E. Cormack. Transient natural convection in triangular enclosures. R. Patterson. Convection Heat Transfer.E. Natural convection in a diﬀerentially heated square cavity with internal heat generation. gÞ coordinates can be deﬁned by X ¼ and Y ¼ 9 X k ¼1 9 X k ¼1 U7 ¼ ð4n À 4n2 Þð1 À 3g þ 2g2 Þ U8 ¼ ð4n À 4n2 Þð4g À 4g2 Þ U9 ¼ ð4n À 4n2 ÞðÀg þ 2g2 Þ The above basis functions are used for mapping the triangular domain or elements within the triangle into square domain and the evaluation of integrals of residuals. Bejan. 43 (2005) 668–680. third ed. Vanka. Fluid Mech.J. Kuwahara. [16] T. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 51 (2008) 4496–4505 4505 develop near the intersection of the inclined walls. Computational model for a prism shaped storage solar collector with a right triangular crosssection. Imberger. Wiley. S. Cambridge University Press.R. Int. Imberger. J. Patterson.. Heat Mass Transfer 49 (2006) 4525–4535. Heat Transfer 13 (1988) 353–372. Energy Convers. Fusegi. M. Jyotsna. gÞ y k : Here ðxk . K. Y coordinates of the k nodal points as seen in Fig. O. [14] T. Hoboken. Basak. J. Int. Natural convection in a shallow cavity with diﬀerentially heated end walls. Numer. Namli.G.S. Heat Mass Transfer 31 (1988) 1759–1766. Reddy. Hill. The average Nusselt number is found to follow power law variation with Rayleigh number for convection dominant regimes for Pr (Pr ¼ 0:026 À 0:7). J. Numer. Uk ðn. Bejan. Fig. Joudi. Ball. Finite element analysis of natural convection ﬂows in a square cavity with non-uniformly heated wall(s). Heat Transfer A 21 (1992) 215–229.T. Natural convection in a reservoir sidearm subject to solar radiation: experimental observations. J.A. Sci. Heat Mass Transfer 28 (1985) 1721–1732. Ramos. the compression of temperature contours is more and secondary circulations are observed. London. [8] D. Hyun.F.C.R. [7] D. Holtzman. Asan. Int. Balakrishnan. Numerical solutions of transient natural convection in a square cavity with diﬀerent sidewall temperatures. L. Fluid Mech. 100 (1980) 65–86. Farhan. stream function contours are nearly triangular in shape. [4] G. [17] G. References [1] K. Computational Fluid Dynamics. Multigrid calculation of steady.A. gÞxk U k ð n. J. In addition. Exp. 2a and b and Uk ðn. Karyakin. J. Basak et al.

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