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International Journal of Mechanical, Robotics and Production Engineering.

Volume V, Issue I Jan 15


ISSN 2349-3534, www.ijmpe.com, email editor@ijmpe.com

ECCENTRICITY EFFECT ON FREE CONVECTION FLUID FLOW


AND HEAT TRANSFER OF ANNULUS
Alireza Tahavvor1,*, Saeed Hosseini 1
1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering,


Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran
* Corresponding Author, Email: tahavvor@iaushiraz.ac.ir

ABSTRACT:
Concentric and eccentric annulus is used frequently in technical and industrial applications
such as nuclear reactors, thermal storage system and etc. In this paper, computational fluid
dynamics (CFD) is used to investigate two dimensional free convection of laminar flow in
annulus with isotherm cylinders surface and cooler inner surface. Problem studied in thirty
different cases. Due to natural convection continuity and momentum equations are coupled and
must be solved simultaneously. Finite volume method is used for solving governing equations.
The purpose was to obtain the eccentricity effect on Nusselt number in different Rayleight
numbers, so streamlines and temperature fields must be determined. Results shown that the
highest Nusselt number values occurs in degree of eccentricity equal to 0.5 upward for inner
cylinder and degree of eccentricity equal to 0.3 upward for outer cylinder. Side eccentricity
reduces the outer cylinder Nusselt number but increases inner cylinder Nusselt number.
Correlations are included to calculate the Nusselt number of the cylinders.

Keywords: Natural convection, Concentric, Eccentric, Nusselt number, Annulus, CFD

[1] INTRODUCTION
Natural convection heat transfer and fluid flow in the annulus between two concentric and
eccentric cylinders has been subject of intensive research due to its important applications in
physics and engineering ranging from nuclear reactors, thermal storage systems and solar energy
collectors, cooling of electronic components and aircraft fuselage insulation to underground
electrical transmission cables.
A comprehensive review of the early works on this subject is found. Experimental and
numerical results of laminar natural convection in horizontal annuli with different Rayleigh
numbers were documented by some researchers [1]. Numerical solutions for the steady-state,
two-dimensional laminar and turbulent natural convection between two horizontal isothermal
concentric cylinders has presented by ref. [2]. Natural convective heat transfer in a horizontal

Alireza Tahavvor and Saeed Hosseini

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ECCENTRICITY EFFECT ON FREE CONVECTION FLUID FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER OF ANNULUS

eccentric annulus between an isothermal square outer and a heated isothermal circular inner
cylinder has numerically studied using differential quadrature (DQ) method, [3]. The effect of
eccentricity on the heat transfer has been studied using different thermal boundary conditions
with heated inner pipe in laminar completely formed conditions [4]. Its indicated that the
Nusselt number decreases as the eccentricity increases. Therefore, concentric pipes have better
heat transfer rate than the similar straight eccentric annuli. Fluid flow and heat transfer in
eccentric curved annuli has been numerically studied and reported that in contrast to straight
eccentric annuli, heat transfer rates can be augmented in eccentric curved annuli comparing with
the straight concentric annuli at the large dean numbers [5]. There are some studies consider the
effect of eccentricity of heated body inside a cooled enclosure. Refs. [6, 7] studied the effect of
circular cylinder vertical and horizontal and diagonal positions on heat transfer in the range of
103 to 106 Ra by means of finite volume method. They showed either changing Rayleigh number
or cylinder position can affect heat transfer quantities. Forced and free convective heat transfer
in the thermal entry region of horizontal concentric annuli [8], natural convection in a square
cavity containing a sinusoidal cylinder [9] and heat transfer due to buoyancy-driven convective
interaction in enclosures [10] are investigated recently.
According to authors knowledge from review of literature it is evident that natural
convection in concentric and eccentric annulus with both isothermal cylinders and cooler inner
wall is not studied yet.

[2] NUMERICAL MODEL


The problem to be considered is an annular region filled with air between two circular
cylinders both concentrically and eccentrically placed. Thirty cases have been studied. Annulus
with le 0.3 , 0.5 and 0.7 Up, down and right eccentricity and concentric models have been
investigated where le is maximum length of eccentricity divided by ( Do Di ) and Do is outer
cylinder diameter and Di is inner cylinder diameter. Annulus geometry and related grid
arrangement for CFD solution is shown in [Figure-1]:

Figure: 1. Physical geometry and Grid distribution

By assuming that both cylinders are extremely long in the axial direction into the page, the
problem is considered two-dimensional. The outer and inner cylinders are both isothermal solid
surfaces with no-slip and no-jump conditions and maintained at constant temperatures To and
Ti , respectively, with Ti < To . The problem is solved. The gravity is set to be along the
negative Y-direction. It should be noted that right and left eccentricities have the same results

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International Journal of Mechanical, Robotics and Production Engineering. Volume V, Issue I Jan 15
ISSN 2349-3534, www.ijmpe.com, email editor@ijmpe.com

because of Y-direction gravity, thus the right model is investigated and called side eccentricity.
The Rayleigh number is 5 10 3 . By neglecting the viscous heating effect and assuming
constant thermo physical properties except density in the gravitational term, where the Bussinesq
approximation is applied to model the buoyancy effect, the two-dimensional, steady-state
governing equations for laminar flow are given by:
Continuity Equation:

u v

0
x y

(1)

Momentum equation in x-direction:

u
u 1 p
2u 2u
v

v( 2 2 )
x
y x
x
y

(2)

Momentum equation in y-direction:

v
v 1 p
2v 2v
v

v( 2 2 ) g (T T )
x
y y
x
y

(3)

Energy Equation:

T
T
2T 2T
v
( 2 2 )
x
y
x
y

(4)

[3] COMPUTATIONAL PROCEDURE


The governing equations are solved using the finite volume method in which the pressure
correction procedure is conducted following the SIMPLE algorithm. The grid system is created
using structured quadrilateral cells. In descretizing the governing equations, the second order
upwind scheme is adopted for both momentum and energy equations. The convergence criterion
is set to 10-6 for each variable. Some grid sizes are tested to achieve grid independent result. To
do this, several tests are made between grid size of 10000 and 50000 cells. It was found that
45000 cells grid size is sufficiently fine to ensure a grid independent solution.

[4] RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Concentric annulus temperature fields and streamlines are shown in [Figure-2]. The plume
below the cooled cylinder (inner) could be seen obviously. Temperature range is 313 to 323
Kelvin. In level 9 lockout air is observed, As a result, outer cylinder Nusselt number isnt
maximum value in this stage as it could be observed in [Table-1]. The plume is not completely
formed and it causes reduce in inner cylinder Nusselt number in addition to air lockout [Table2].

Alireza Tahavvor and Saeed Hosseini

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ECCENTRICITY EFFECT ON FREE CONVECTION FLUID FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER OF ANNULUS

Figure: 2. Concentric annulus temperature fields and streamlines

[Figure-3] illustrate temperature fields and streamlines of 50% upward eccentricity. Plume is
completely formed. An isotherm area could be seen below inner cylinder in level 5 [Figure-3].
Plume is completely formed with no interact to outer cylinder surface as a result the inner
cylinder Nusselt number has maximum value in this position. Also in le 0.3 upward
eccentricity the plume is completely formed and no lockout air above it, thus the outer cylinder
Nusselt number has its maximum value in this position. 70% downward eccentricity is
illustrated in [Figure-4]. No plume is observable and lockout air above inner cylinder is
remarkable.

Figure: 3. Upward eccentricity temperature fields for

l e 0.5

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International Journal of Mechanical, Robotics and Production Engineering. Volume V, Issue I Jan 15
ISSN 2349-3534, www.ijmpe.com, email editor@ijmpe.com

Figure: 4. Downward eccentricity temperature fields for

le 0.7

Plume in side eccentricity is not completely formed and lock out air could be seen in one side of
cylinder in more than 50% eccentricity [Figure-5].

Figure: 5. Right eccentricity temperature fields for

Outer cylinder Nusselt number is influenced by the lockout air above and below the inner
cylinder, effect of above air is more significant because of plume in the below are. As its
illustrated in [Table-1] Nusselt number around 70% downward eccentricity is the lowest. As the
inner cylinder moves up the lockout air above it decreases and as a matter of fact the Nusselt
number increases until the optimum point. Around 30% up eccentricity the Nusselt number of
outer cylinder is the highest. Above this point effect of lockout air below the inner cylinder
increases and causes the Nusselt number to decrease. In side position as the eccentricity
increases the Nusselt number decrease as its illustrated in [Table-1].

Alireza Tahavvor and Saeed Hosseini

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ECCENTRICITY EFFECT ON FREE CONVECTION FLUID FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER OF ANNULUS

Table 1: Outer cylinder Nusselt number

le
0
0.3
0.5
0.7

Upward

Downward

Side

12.88
11.22
10.78

11.61
10.91
10.67
10.28

10.78
10.57
10.38

Inner cylinder Nusselt number is influenced by plume formation and lockout air around it.

l e 0.7 downward and upward eccentricity positions have lower Nusselt number value in
compare to l e 0.5 eccentricity. It happened because of plume layers conflux with outer
cylinder surface. In downward eccentricity as the inner cylinder goes up the Nusselt number
decreases due to lockout air increasing around it up to the center point. Above the center point
the plume is developing and the lockout air around it reduces. So the highest inner cylinder
eccentricity is around l e 0.3 upward. Side eccentricity causes the inner cylinder Nusselt
number to increase until the plume layer conflux the outer cylinder surface, considering lockout
air around the cylinder reduces as it moves to sides. [Table-2]

Table 2: Inner cylinder Nusselt number

le
0
0.3
0.5
0.7

Upward

Downward

Side

21.25
21.56
21.49

20.04
20.73
21.34
20.55

21.06
21.11
20.76

The results indicate that the inner cylinder Nusselt number maximum value occurs around
l e 0.5 upward and for outer cylinder its l e 0.3 upward. Considering the plume is below the
cooled inner cylinder. Studies of ref. [4] indicated that for annulus with heated inner cylinders
the Nusselt number decreases as the eccentricity increases. When the plume is below the inner
cylinder it causes a reduction in effect of lockout air below the cylinder so as it goes up to the
optimum point the Nusselt number increases.
This correlation can be used to determine Nusselt number of inner and outer cylinder in up
down and side eccentricity:
(5)

Nusselt number A + Ble C + De El e

[Table-3] and [Table-4] contain all parameters values for each correlation. Range of is 0
to 1.
Table 3: parameters of equation 5 for outer cylinder

Parameter
Up
Down
Side

A
-18.59
16.39
11.95

B
16.48
6.04
-1.67

C
0.5
1.5
0.5

D
30.2
-4.79
-0.34

E
-1
1
-1

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International Journal of Mechanical, Robotics and Production Engineering. Volume V, Issue I Jan 15
ISSN 2349-3534, www.ijmpe.com, email editor@ijmpe.com

Table 4: parameters of equation 5 for inner cylinder

Parameter
Up
Down
Side

A
25.72
16.62
36.42

B
-2.87
8.08
-10.7

C
2
3
1

D
-5.68
3.35
-16.4

E
-1
1
-1

2
Fit standard error and r are included in Table5

Table 5: Fit Std error and r

Eccentricity, cylinder
Up, outer
Down, outer
Side, outer
Up, inner
Down, inner
Side, inner

for Nusselt number correlation

r2
0.989
0.998
0.999
0.999
0.899
0.999

Fit Std error


0.1941
0.0377
0.0088
0.0050
0.2947
0.0004

[5] CONCLUSIONS
Results of eccentricity of annulus whit cooled inner cylinder in Nusselt number has been studied in
this paper. Outcomes were:

Highest outer cylinder Nusselt number occurs around l e 0.3 upward


eccentricity
l e 0.5 upward
Highest inner cylinder Nusselt number occurs around
eccentricity.
Side eccentricity reduces outer cylinder Nusselt number but has opposite effect on
inner cylinder Nusselt number.
More than l e 0.7 eccentricity in all positions causes the Nusselt number to
reduce.

Alireza Tahavvor and Saeed Hosseini

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ECCENTRICITY EFFECT ON FREE CONVECTION FLUID FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER OF ANNULUS

REFERENCES
[1]

Kuehn, T.H., Goldstein, R.J., 1976. An experimental and theoretical study of natural
convection in the annulus between horizontal concentric cylinders. International Journal of
Fluid Mechanic, 74, 695719.

[2]

Farouk, B., Gceri, S.I., 1982. Laminar and turbulent natural convection in the annulus
between horizontal concentric cylinders. International Journal of Heat Transfer, 104, 631
636.

[3]

Shu, C., Xue, H., Zhu, Y.D., 2001. Numerical study of natural convection in an eccentric
annulus between square outer cylinder and a circular inner cylinder using a DQ method.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 44, 33213333.

[4]

Manglik, R.M., Fang, P.P., 1995. Effect of eccentricity and thermal boundary conditions on
laminar completely formed flow in annular ducts. International Journal of Heat and Fluid
Flow, 16, 298306.

[5]

Nobari, M.R.H., Mehrabani, M.T., 2009. A numerical study of fluid flow and heat transfer in
eccentric curved annuli. International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 49, 380396.

[6]

Kim, B.S., Lee, D.S., Ha, M.Y., Yoon, H.S., 2008. A numerical study of natural convection in
a square enclosure with a circular cylinder at different vertical locations. International Journal
of Heat and Mass Transfer, 51, 1888-1906.

[7]

Lee, J.M., Ha, M.Y., Yoon, H.S., 2010. Natural convection in a square enclosure with a
circular cylinder at different horizontal and diagonal locations. International Journal of Heat
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[8]

Mohammed, H.A., Antonio Campo, Saidur, R., 2010 Experimental study of forced and free
convective heat transfer in the thermal entry region of horizontal concentric annuli.
International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 37, 739747.

[9]

Nabavizadeh, S.A, Talebi, S., Sefid, M., 2011. Natural convection in a square cavity
containing a sinusoidal cylinder. International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 51, 112-120.

[10]

Polezhaev, Vadim I., Myakshina, Marina N., Nikitin, Sergey A., 2012. Heat transfer due to
buoyancy-driven convective interaction in enclosures: Fundamentals and applications.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 55, 156165.

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International Journal of Mechanical, Robotics and Production Engineering. Volume V, Issue I Jan 15
ISSN 2349-3534, www.ijmpe.com, email editor@ijmpe.com

Authors brief Introduction


Ali Reza Tahavvor, Ph.D.

B.Sc. (Shiraz University), M.Sc. (Tabriz University), Ph.D. (Shiraz


University)
Currently, A.R. Tahavvor is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering
in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad
University, Shiraz, Iran. He is especially interested in the heat and mass
transfer and also the application of soft computing methods such as artificial neural networks,
fuzzy logic, etc. in miscellaneous branches of mechanical engineering. He has some publications
on application of soft computing in convective heat and mass transfer. Other research interests of
him are heat and mass transfer, computational fluid dynamics and computational heat transfer.

Saeed Hosseini
B.Sc. (Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University)
Currently, S. Hosseini is a M.Sc. student of mechanical engineering in the
department of mechanical engineering, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad
University, Shiraz, Iran. He is interested in the applications of heat and mass
transfer, especially in natural convection flows. Also he worked in the field of soft-computing such
as artificial neural networks.

Alireza Tahavvor and Saeed Hosseini

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