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International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

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A review of heat transfer between concentric rotating cylinders

with or without axial ow
M. Fnot*, Y. Bertin, E. Dorignac, G. Lalizel
Institut P, Cnrs, ENSMAeUniversit de Poitiers, UPR 3346, Dpartement uides, thermique, combustion, 1 Avenue Clment Ader, BP 40109,
86961 Futuroscope Chasseneuil Cedex, France

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Heat transfer in ow between concentric rotating cylinders, also known as TayloreCouette ows,
Received 29 July 2010 constitutes a long-existing academic and industrial subject (in particular for electric motors cooling). Heat
Received in revised form transfer characteristics of those ows are reviewed. Investigations of previous works for different gap
11 February 2011
thickness, axial and radial ratio, rotational velocity are compared. Congurations with axial ow and/or
Accepted 12 February 2011
Available online 29 March 2011
with slots on the cylinders are also considered. For each case, different correlations are presented. Finally,
unresolved issues are mentioned for further research.
2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Rotating cylinders
Heat transfer
Slotted gap

1. Introduction be distinguished; closed machines (rotor rotation without axial air

ow: TayloreCouette ow), and open machines (axial ow combined
Flow dynamics between two concentric rotating cylinders with rotor rotation: TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow). Moreover, as
constitutes an old academic subject since Couette [1] and Taylor [2], regards some motor technologies, the existence of grooves on the
whose names are recalled in the term TayloreCouette ow, which rotor (where copper threads, for example, may be coiled) is liable to
has become a reference in stability studies due to the gradual signicantly modify the dynamic and the thermal ow behavior.
destabilizing of a ow lending itself to a rigorous mathematical Excepted a short part of the bibliographic review by Maron and
approach. Moreover, this kind of ow has many industrial appli- Cohen [5], no very detailed analysis of heat transfer in a rotating
cations, particularly in the elds of mechanical or chemical mixing annular gap has ever been carried out. This bibliographic review is
equipment. It has consequently been the subject of several biblio- focused on the heat transfer of TayloreCouette ow patterns.
graphic reviews by Di Prima and Swinney [3], Cognet [4], and The kind of thermal behavior to be studied is obviously linked to
Maron and Cohen [5]. the dynamics of these kinds of ow. We shall present in detail the
The heat transfer in this ow and the impact of ow structures on different forms of ow already encountered, but our survey is not
heat transfer were more recently studied (Gazley [6]); there already exhaustive.
existed numerous industrial applications of the rotating elements
(rotation, outer wall of the rotating heat pipes, cooling of the lower
2. The fundamentals of TayloreCouette ow
extremities of the turbojet turbine.), especially in electric motors.
Indeed, different studies [7,8] on the heat transfer of electric motors
Let us rst look at the different parameters of inuence. We shall
have demonstrated the importance of convective heat transfer within
consider a basic system composed of two concentric cylinders
the cylindrical gap (area separating the rotor from the stator). In fact,
(Fig. 1). Its geometry is characterized by two radii, the outer radius
the rotor is the locus for large-scale dissipations of electromagnetic
of the inner cylinder R1 and the inner radius of the outer cylinder
origin, and its cooling is ensured principally by the air ow of the
R2, as well as their length L. The ow is then characterized by the
cylindrical gap. Two main families of rotating electric machines may
following geometric parameters: hydraulic diameter: Dh
4Sp =Pm 2pR22  R21 =pR2 R1 , annular gap thickness (also
* Corresponding author. known as cylindrical gap): e R2  R1, radial ratio h R1/R2, and
E-mail address: (M. Fnot). axial ratio: G L/R2  R1.

1290-0729/$ e see front matter 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1139

Nomenclature S reference heat transfer area (m2)

Sp cross sectional area (m2)
T temperature ( C) RRR
Va $T dS 
Indexes Tm mean temperature Tm RRR ( C)
Va dS
1 rotor
2 stator Te T0 
Tmean mean temperature Tmean ( C)
a axial 2
V velocity (m/s)
c critical
4 ux density (W/m2)
e input/entrance
l thermal conductivity (W/m K)
eff effective
q open slot angle or chamfer (45 ) rib angle ( )
eq equivalent
n kinematic viscosity (m2/s)
m mean
r density (kg/m3)
w wall
u rotation velocity (rad/s)
o output/exit
f heat ux (W)
t tangential
turb turbulent
Dimensionless numbers
fm mean in the uid
n number of slots
wm mean on the wall
Cp pressure coefcient
Fg geometric factor
Dimensional numbers
Gr Grashof number
Dh hydraulic diameter (m)
Nu Nusselt number
e cylindrical gap thickness or rib height (m)
Pr Prandtl number
h convective heat transfer coefcient (W/m2 K)
Re Reynolds number
l slot width or rib width (m)
Sh Sherwood number
p slot depth or relative space between two ribs (m)
St Stanton number
t time (s)
Ta Taylor number
cp specic heat at constant pressure (J/kg K)
a weighted rotation coefcient at effective speed
L actual cylindrical gap length or canal length (m)
g slot aspect ratio
N rotation velocity (rpm)
h radial cylindrical gap aspect ratio or canal performance
P static pressure (Pa)
W canal width (m)
s ratio between the Taylor number and its critical value
H canal height (m)
G axial cylindrical gap aspect ratio
Pm wetted perimeter (m)
g heat transfer function
Qv volume ow rate (m3/s)
R cylinder radius (m)

The main dynamic parameter characterizing cylindrical gap 1=Fg with Fg as a geometrical factor that differs from one author to
ow is the rotor rotation speed u (rad/s). One may consequently the next and may take into account the aspect ratio of the smooth
dene the tangential Reynolds number Ret uR1Dh/n. The Taylor annular gap. This ratio approaches 1 once the cylindrical gap
number is often preferred to the Reynolds number, for it may be has become narrow; this is the number used by most authors.
interpreted as the ratio between centrifugal force and viscous force Gardiner and Sabersky [10] and Becker and Kaye [11] propose: Fg
[9]. It may be expressed in the form Ta u2 R1 R2  R1 3 =n2 p4 R1  R2 =2R1 =16970:05711  0:652e=R1 0:00056
1  0:652e=R1 1 . Some authors (Ref. [12] for example) prefer
the formulation Ta u2 R1 Dh =23 =n2 which may take into
account possible geometrical variations by hydraulic diameter.
It should be noted that several authors, particularly in the more
ancient studies, dene the Taylor number as the square root of the
classical form.
In addition, heat transfer is dened by the Nusselt number,
whose denition may likewise vary from one author to the next.
Todays most widely used denition is:Nu hDh =l l grad
Tjp =Tw  Tref Dh =l F=STw  Tref Dh =l, where the reference
L temperature is often postulated as equal to the uid temperature or
else, more generally, to the temperature of the second wall. The
R1 Nusselt number thereby deduced serves as a translation of the ef-
Va R2 ciency of heat transfer from one wall to the other by means of the uid.
As for the heat transfer surface S, it is often dened as the surface of the
heating wall (S 2$pLR1 or S 2$pLR2 [13]) Sometimes this surface
is considered as intermediate with regard to the walls, and its
exact denition differs from one author to the next (generally
S 2$pLe=ln1=h [14]). The more narrow the cylindrical gap, the
Fig. 1. TayloreCouette ow geometry. smaller the differences between the denitions of S.
1140 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

Fig. 2. Regimes observed in ow between two rotating cylinders [16].

Some authors do not use the hydraulic diameter as the char- So, the effects of natural convection occasioned by gravity are
acteristic length, but rather prefer the thickness of the annular gap: preponderant when rotation speed is particularly low. Along with
e R2  R1. an increase in rotation speed (and in Ret), the effects of natural
In the following pages, we will use the most widely accepted convection seem to disappear and are replaced by classical cylin-
denitions: Ta u2 R1 Dh =23 =n2 and Nu hDh =l l grad drical gap ow. When none of the effects are dominant, structures
Tjp =Tw  Tref Dh =l. with two or three cells are obtained [18]. These effects are also
dependant on the way the cylinder is oriented, that is to say
3. Smooth cylindrical gap, TayloreCouette ow vertically [18,19] or horizontally [20,21].

In this part, we shall focus on ow and convective heat transfer 3.1.2. Taylor vortex ow
in a smooth annular gap subjected to inner cylinder rotation alone. Once the critical rotation speed uC noted by Taylor is exceeded,
A description of the ow structure due to rotation alone (Tay- the ow presents instabilities structured in a toric (O ring) form and
loreCouette ow) will be given prior to a presentation of the results known as Taylor vortices. They are counter-rotative and associ-
concerning heat transfer. ated by pairs, as is indicated in Fig. 3.
From both an experimental and a theoretical standpoint, Taylor
3.1. Flow structure [2] determined the critical value of rotor rotation speed for an in-
nitely long and pronouncedly narrow annular gap Tac 1708 z 1700.
Flow in a smooth and closed annular gap has been the subject of As soon as they appeared, Taylor vortices are arranged periodically
numerous theoretical and experimental studies. The rst experi- by pairs, which rendered it possible to dene their axial wavelength
ments were conducted by Couette [1] and Mallock [15] in 1887 and as the axial space taken up by a doublet of vortices. The axial
Most studies involve a single rotating cylinder (generally the
inner one). The rotation of the second cylinder makes more
complex the ow as recorded by Andereck et al. [16] (Fig. 2). It is
important to note that in this study a strict procedure has been
followed to reduce the problem range (rst, the outer cylinder is
slowly accelerated, and then the inner cylinder is slowly acceler-
ated as well).
The following ow description will involve only one rotating
cylinder congurations since no heat transfer studies have been
conducted on two rotating cylinders.

3.1.1. Couette ow
Couette observed that the torque required for rotation of the
central cylinder rises linearly to a critical speed, and then the torque
rises still more rapidly. In 1923, Taylor [2] highlighted the existence
of a critical rotation speed uC. Under this rotational speed, the ow,
referred to as Couette ow, is steady and laminar. It is driven by
viscous drag force acting on the uid. The streamlines are annular
and centered on the rotation axis.
Natural convection induced by gravity can greatly affect this
ow. It is generally recognized that for a Rayleigh number
Ra Pr$b$DT$e3 g=n2 lower than 104, the effects of natural
convection are negligible. For a higher Rayleigh number, ow
depends on the ratio between the Grashof number and the
tangential Reynolds number Ret uR1Dh/n (Guo and Zhang [17]). Fig. 3. Taylor vortices [6].
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1141

wavelength of a pair of vortices for the critical Taylor number (or

critical wavelength) is generally slightly less than the theoretical
critical wavelength for an innitely long and pronouncedly narrow
cylindrical gap. Kirchner and Chen [22] showed that Taylor vortices
originate, at the level of the inner cylinder, in the form of axially and
radially propagated discs, which are transformed into classical
vortices. Ghayoub et al. [23] provided a number-based demonstra-
tion of the appearance of small and non-stationary Gortler-type
vortices in the zone where Taylor vortices leave the stator.
In cases where the rotation speed is still rising and the Taylor
number exceeds a second critical threshold, (Ta/Tac 1.2), Coles
[24] (for a narrow cylindrical gap: h 0.95) underscored the pres-
ence of an azimuth wave regime (wavy mode); the Taylor cell
boundaries are no longer perpendicular to the cylindrical axis, but
Fig. 5. Inuence on the transition of annular gap thickness [4].
rather present undulations or waves (Fig. 4). The ow consequently
becomes doubly periodic. As speed was gradually heightened,
Cognet [4] (once again with regard to a narrow cylindrical gap:
vortices appear (curve i), the rotation speed starting at which their
h 0.908) observed a rise in the number of azimuth waves up to waves appear (curve ii), and the corresponding theoretical
a maximum number that remains constant for 4.5  Ta/Tac  25,
numbers ( and *). Fig. 6 shows that regardless of cylinder length,
and subsequently decreases until the azimuth waves disappear (Ta/
vortices show up at essentially the same rotation speed. On the
Tac z 96). The movement then becomes virtually periodic.
other hand, cylindrical gap length has a far greater impact on wave
Moreover, experiments by Coles [24] entailed the observation of
appearance. When cylinder length goes up, rotation speed goes
up to 26 different states (number of vortices.) for the same Taylor
down exponentially and is stabilized close to its theoretical number
number. Each state depends not only on rotation speed, but also on
once the cylindrical gap has lengthened (G > 40).
previous ow history, which involves hysteresis effects marked by
Lastly, the presence of a temperature gradient can likewise
transitions that differ with regard to increasing and then decreasing
affect ow stability. This is due to variable uid properties (density
rotation speeds. Each of these states corresponds to a given number
and viscosity), to the natural convection occasioned by centrifugal
of pairs of vortices (number of axial waves) and of azimuth waves
forces, and to the natural convection occasioned by gravity, which is
(number of azimuth wave periods).
generally considered separately. Becker and Kaye [11] as well as
Cylindrical gap geometry likewise assumes an important role
Walowit [29] have shown that while a negative radial gradient
with regard to the transitions. As concerns annular space thickness,
stabilizes ow (the critical Taylor number increases), a positive
Sparow et al. [25] and Roberts [26] have used linear stability theory
gradient has the opposite effect.
when showing that the wider the cylindrical gap (small h), the
According to Walowit [29], the effects of the convection occa-
more frequent the appearance of vortices corresponding to high
sioned by centrifugal forces are negligible and the variations in uid
Taylor numbers. Cognet [4] provided experimental conrmation of
properties take on the main role.
these results (Fig. 5). In addition, Snyder and Lambert [27] showed
As regards the effects of natural convection occasioned by
that in large annular gaps (small h), Taylor cells are less rapidly
gravity, Ali and Weidman [30] have shown that the ow depends
affected by azimuth waves.
on the ratio between the Grashof numbers and the tangential
Another parameter liable to exert inuence on ow transitions
Reynolds numbers Ret and that, as regards the Couette ow, the
is the axial length of the cylindrical gap. The results gathered by
effects are negligible for a Rayleigh number Ra lower than
Cole [28] facilitate comprehension of the role assumed by annular
104.Gardiner and Sabersky [10] and Aoki et al. [31] have observed,
gap length. In Fig. 6 and in accordance with axial cylindrical gap
in their strictly thermal studies, an unusually high critical Taylor
length, we may note: the rotation speed starting at which Taylor
number (104 instead of 1700), which they attribute to the inuence
of natural convection in their experiments. Their conclusions lead

Fig. 4. Azimuth wave regime (wavy mode). Fig. 6. Transitions and cylinder length [28].
1142 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

one to believe that natural convection modies e and stabilizes e that heat transfer rst diminishes along with rotation speed (Fig. 7)
cylindrical gap ow. on account of the disturbance provoked by centrifugal forces with
regard to natural convection. The higher the Rayleigh number, the
3.1.3. Turbulent ow more pronounced and belated the diminution. It may be noted that
Finally, as the rotation speeds continue to rise after the disap- in Fig. 6, the threshold value of the Nusselt number in the case of
pearance of Azimuthal waves, random uctuations come to heightened rotation speed is 1, which is tantamount to strictly
progressively dominate the ow. In the end (above Ta/Tac z 1300), conductive transfer.
ow becomes turbulent. The transition toward turbulence has been
conrmed experimentally by Gollub and Swinney [32] and 3.2.2. Taylor ow and turbulent ow heat transfer
numerically by Alziary de Rocquefort and Grillaud [33]. The Taylor Taylor ow and turbulent ow heat transfer are studies jointly
numbers nonetheless differ, probably as a result of dissimilar here as transition from one to the other seems to have no effect at
geometries. In fact, Cognet [4] noticed that an innite sequence of all on the heat transfer rate. None of the authors have noticed heat
uctuation appears progressively inserting a new ow frequency transfer change with turbulent transition (Ta z 106). This is prob-
for each one of them until the ow becomes turbulent. ably due to the progressive appearance of uctuations bringing the
ow to turbulent (see paragraph 2.1.3 Turbulent ow): as transition
3.2. Convective heat transfer to turbulence is progressive, heat transfer variation is continuous.

The initial approaches to convective heat transfer were carried

out using an analogy between heat transfer and momentum.
Couette [1] and Taylor [2] both measured the resistant torque due
to the uids being viscously rubbed between the two cylinders.
This type of measurement was likewise employed more recently by
Yamada [34]. On the basis of these studies, it is possible to deduce
friction factors or coefcients that can be linked to heat transfer by
means of Reynolds analogy.
In 1958, Gazley [6] was the rst author to show a sustained
interest in thermal study of TayloreCouette ow. Flow dynamics
were found to create three different heat transfer situations as
speed and consequently the Taylor number goes up. The rst
corresponds to the laminar regime below the critical threshold, the
second to the laminar regime with superimposed Taylor vortices
occupying the annular gap, and the third to the turbulent regime
with regard to the highest Taylor numbers presenting more or less
fully formed structures. One should recall that the Nusselt number
is calculated by these authors on the basis of the difference of
temperature from one wall to the other. It should also be noted that
all of these studies deal only with average Nusselt numbers for the
cylindrical gap taken as a whole.

3.2.1. Couette ow heat transfer

Below the critical Taylor number, most of the authors have
concurrently found a constant value equal to 1; this is particularly
the case for Tachibana et al. [35]. The value may vary in accordance
with Nusselt; for instance, Becker and Kaye [11] found a value of 2
by using the denition of a Nusselt number: Nu hDh/l (Nu h2e/
l) as regards a smooth cylindrical gap. This is the denition we have
chosen in order to ensure that as thereby postulated, the Nusselt
number remains identical, whatever be the conguration (smooth
with or without clipping ow, slotted.). In every case, this Nusselt
number corresponds to a conductive heat transfer between the two
walls: only parallel to these walls does the uid move, and the heat
transfer is consequently carried out perpendicularly to the ow,
which may be considered as conductive.
Two phenomena may nonetheless arise and modify the above
value. First, a radiative heat transfer involving the two cylinders
probably explains the high Nusselt numbers observed by Gazley
[6], who does not seem to have dealt specically and at length with
this kind of transfer. Second, there is the natural convection of
which Gardiner and Sabersky [10], on the other hand, have taken
particular note; since their results are in close agreement with
those reported by Aoki et al. [31], it would appear that the same
phenomenon of natural convection comes into play. Finally, Yoo
[19] focused on the air driven into rotation between two horizontal
cylinders for Rayleigh numbers ranging from 1000 to 50000 and Fig. 7. Evolution of the Nusselt number along with the tangential Reynolds number for
a relatively large cylindrical gap (aspect ratio h 0.5), and observed different Rayleigh numbers and an aspect ratio h 0.5 with Re uR2 e=n.
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1143

So, above the critical Taylor number, Nu rises appreciably in of 1/3 rather than , The deviation from their prior numbers (and
conjunction with the latter. And above this critical threshold, the from other authors) is explained by the non-overlaping of the
transportation of matter from one wall to the other of the annular measuring ranges utilized in the two studies: the studies of Tachi-
gap favors heat transfer. Becker and Kaye [36] observed a second, bana and Fukui [41] is conducted for greater value of Taylor
less pronounced transition (simple modication of slope) for numbers. It likewise bears mentioning that Tzeng [42] observed
Ta 104. The results were conrmed in the respective works of much higher heat transfer than the other authors without any
Nijaguna and Mathiprakasam [37] as well as Bouaa et al. [12,14]. marked differences with regard to their respective congurations.
There would appear to exist another dynamic transition or differing The results reported by Tzeng [42] were associated with Taylor
ow behavior altering the evolution of convective heat transfer. It numbers higher than those of the many other authors. But, the more
bears mentioning that thermal transition coincides for Peres [38] signicant difference between Tzengs experiment and other studies
with the Taylor number corresponding to the shortest axial wave- resides in the presence of high natural convection which seems to
length. In fact, wavelength diminishes, according to Peres [38] greatly affect heat transfer (see below).
reaching a minimum corresponding to the second transition, and Aside from this particular case, the different results concerning
then it increases. Consequently, the transition seems to correspond to heat transfer are in close correspondence, with scattering
to a situation in which the vortex number is maximum. Several occurring once the rotation speed goes up.
reasons can explain the lack of this second transition for several Several parameters may exert some inuence on the heat
authors. First of all, as ow state depends on previous ow history transfer depicted. Natural convection may continue to affect heat
(Coles [24]), so evolution of axial wavelength can be different transfer e even after the appearance of Taylor vortices. Tzeng [42]
depending on the experimental protocol (rarely described) and so, has postulated a correlation taking into account the natural
there may be no shortest wavelength. Moreover, Refs. [31,39,40] convection effects based on the tangential Reynolds number
have large Taylor ranges and their measurements are less Ret uR1Dh/n for a horizontal conguration with h 0.895, e/
numerous. So, it is possible that the authors have failed notice the R1 0.12 and G 17. This correlation provides the ratio between the
rst region (before the transition) which is relatively small. Nusselt number with rotation NuU and the Nusselt number without
A third possible transition is shown by Tachibana et al. [35] and rotation Nu0:NuU =Nu0 0:375Gr$uR1 Dh =n$1011 0:328 with
Tachibana and Fukui [41]. Comparison between their two studies Gr b$DT$e3 g=n2 .
seems to show a transition for Ta 108. They are the only authors The correlation should not be used unreservedly, for there are
working at such a high Taylor number. differences between the thermal results of Ref. [42] and those of the
The results obtained by Taylor [2] lead to the conclusion that other authors (Fig. 8).
following the appearance of vortices: Nu z Ta1/4. Most authors have The effect of cylindrical gap size on heat transfer has been
formulated the Nusselt number through experimental correlations studied by par Ball et al. [40]. They observed that the more
of the aspect Nu ATan with A and n of the constants depending pronounced the rise of h, the more pronounced the rise of the radial
a priori on the aspect ratio of the cylindrical gap. Several precise Reynolds number, and consequently of the Taylor number. This
correlations have been put forward by different authors, among observation would appear logical, since a wide cylindrical gap tends
whom we wish to cite Becker and Kaye [36], Tachibana and Fukui to stabilize the ow and thereby delay the development of Taylor
[35] and Bouaa et al. [12,14]. These correlations and the conditions cells and diminish their effects on heat transfer.
of use are reported in Table 1. The curves in Fig. 8 show sensitivity Most of the studies presented above involve global heat transfer,
identical to the Nusselt number of variations in the Taylor number and only the numerical studies record local results. Thus, Fig. 9
recorded above Ta 104 by researchers as different as Becker and presents the axial evolution of the Nusselt number numerically
Kaye [36] and Bjorklund and Kays [39], Aoki et al. [31] and Tachibana recorded by Ghayoub et al. [23] with a cooled stator and a heated
et al. [35]; the exponents n presented by these authors are all sit- rotor. The reference temperature chosen was the mixing temper-
uated within the same range; while the multiplying factor may vary, ature, of which the evolution is likewise depicted in Fig. 8; the
it nevertheless remains close to 0.2. It should also be noted that the choice renders it possible to distinguish the Nusselt number Nu2 of
geometric studies are far from identical. As seen in Table 1, h, e/R1 the stator from that Nu1 of the rotor. The sinusoidal evolution
and G vary from one author to the next. Once the Taylor number corresponds to the alternation of the pairs of vortices presented in
exceeds 108,Tachibana and Fukui [41] have recorded an exponent n Fig. 10. To be precise, when two vortices meet at the level of the

Table 1
Recapitulation of the different correlations for convective heat transfer in a smooth and open cylindrical gap. Note: The denition of the Nusselt number has been modied so
as to have it coincide with the other authors, and it corresponds to the denition used in the present text.

h e/R1 G Ta Tac C.L. thermal Correlations

Becker and Kaye [36] 0.807 0.238 172 0 3,3  105 1994 Cooled stator Ta < Tac: Nu 2
Heated rotor Tac < Ta < 104: Nu 0,128 Ta0,367
104 < Ta < 3.3  105:
Nu 0.409Ta0.241
Tachibana 0.75 / 0.938 0.07 / 0.33 2.25 / 11.25 108 / 5  1012 e Cooled stator, Nu 0.092(TaPr)1/3
and Fukui [41] Heated rotor or
Heated stator,
Cooled rotor
Tachibana et al. [34] 0.522 / 0.971 0.13 / 0.92 220 / 7000 0 / 108 1730e3000 Cooled stator Nu 0.42(TaPr)0.25
Heated rotor
Bjorklund 0.8 / 0.948 0.054 / 0.246 32 / 147 8000 / 4.106 1770e1994 Cooled stator Nu 0.35(Ta)0.25
and Kays [35] Heated rotor
Aoki et al. [31] e e e 5000 / 2  105 e e Nu 0.44(Ta)0.25(Pr)0.3
Ball et al. [40] 0.437 / 0.656 0.26 / 0.64 31.4 / 77.2 4000 / 4  105 e Cooled stator Nu 0.069$h2.9084$
Heated rotor (R1ue/n)0.4614ln(3.3361h)
Tzeng [42] 0.895 0.12 17 7962 / 2  108 e Heated rotor Nu 8.854 (R1ue/n)0.262(Pr)0.4
1144 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155




1.00E+02 1.00E+03 1.00E+04 1.00E+05 1.00E+06 1.00E+07 1.00E+08 1.00E+09 1.00E+10
Tachibana et Fukui [41] Tachibana et al. [35] Bjorklund et Kays[39]
Aoki et al.[31] BECKER et Kaye [36] Ball et al.[40]
Tzeng [42]

Fig. 8. Comparison of the different correlations Note: the denition of the Nusselt number has been modied so as to have it coincide with the other authors, and it corresponds to
the denition used in the present text.

rotor (A), the hot ow is evacuated in the direction of the stator, phenomena are combined, we may discern the four types of ow
thereby provoking maximal Nu1 and increased mixing tempera- described by Kaye and Elgar [43] (Fig. 11):
ture. Conversely, when two vortices meet at the level of stator (B),
Nu2 reaches a maximum and the mixing temperature a minimum. - Laminar ow
One may also note that as regards Ta 2  106, the secondary Nu1 - Laminar ow with Taylor vortices
maxima present at the bottom (B) might be in correspondence with - Turbulent ow
the presence of the Gortler vortices. Moreover, the Nu peak grows - Turbulent ow with Taylor vortices
more pronounced as the Taylor number goes up. This nding is
most likely explained by a heightening of centrifugal forces and Nevertheless, most of the authors have focused their studies on
consequently of the speed of the vortices when they meet (in (A) or the two main transitions (Laminar to turbulent transition and
(B)). The impact of the Gortler vortices on total heat transfer Taylor vortex transition) rather than on the characterization of the
remains relatively insignicant. ow encountered. So, we will analyze separately the two major
4. Smooth cylindrical gap, TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow
4.1.1. Inuence of axial ow: turbulent ow transition
In the conguration of the smooth and open cylindrical gap, Few studies have focused on the transition from laminar to
axial ow is superimposed on the rotation effect provided by the turbulent ow, while most of them have concentrated on the
rotor. As in the preceding part of this paper, a brief description of inuence of axial ow on vortex appearance. It is generally consid-
ow structure will be given prior to a section devoted to heat ered that, before the appearance of Taylor vortices, these ows are
transfer. similar to those encountered in duct ow with a radial velocity as
In the case of TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow, a new dynamic well.
parameter is to be used in addition to rotation velocity u: average Some authors have analyzed the inuence of parameters on
axial velocity of the uid Va (m/s). The axial Reynolds number turbulence transition. As is the case in TayloreCouette ow, inu-
may now be dened as Rea VaDh/n. The most widely accepted ence parameters are both geometrical and thermal. Cylindrical gap
denition of the Nusselt number remains: Nu hDh =l geometry assumes a prominent role in transitions. Kaye and Elgar
l gradTjp =Tw  Tref Dh =l F=STw  Tref Dh =l, where the [43] were the rst researchers to experimentally determine the
reference temperature is usually taken to be equal to a uid transitions with regard to two different numerical degrees of relative
temperature (mean temperature Tmean (Te T0)/2), even though, cylindrical gap thickness h for a wide range of Ta and Rea (see Fig. 12).
as is the case with TayloreCouette ow, some authors take it as The transition to turbulence is more rapidly reached with a more
equal to the temperature of the second wall. narrow cylindrical gap for Rea < 1500, Reynolds number above
which the effects are likewise reversed.
4.1. Flow structure Concerning thermal effects on ow, Becker and Kaye [36] studied
the inuence of existing temperature gradient and heat transfer on
Flow results from the superimposing of two discrete mecha- ow structure in a wide range of axial ow rates and rotation
nisms, one of them linked to the centrifugal effects of rotational velocities (see Fig. 13). According to these authors:
ow, the other one axially driven. Two main transitions may be
distinguished: 1) a transition from laminar ow to turbulent ow e For Ta 0, turbulence appears in both cases at Rea 1800
when axial velocity rises; 2) the appearance of Taylor vortex e Transition from laminar ow to turbulent ow appears to be
structures above critical rotation velocity. When these two independent of the axial Reynolds number when heat transfer
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1145

Fig. 11. Nature of the ow in accordance with axial Re and Ta [43].

Given the unique character of Becker and Kaye [36] study, it

would be dangerous to extrapolate and generalize on the basis of the
reported results. The absent inuence of Rea on the transition from
laminar to turbulent in a diabatic setting appears rather astonishing.

4.1.2. Inuence of rotation: Taylor vortex ow transition

Studies about the Taylor vortex transition have been much more
numerous. So, Fig. 11 clearly shows the stabilizing effect of axial
velocity with regard to Taylor vortices: The initial instabilities (the
vortices) appear for higher Taylor numbers in the presence of axial
ow. It mention that the ows nature has already been established
by the different authors cited [34,43e45] if: 0  Rea  104 and
0  Ta  106. The study by Jakoby et al. [46] bears special mention
on account of a particularly high axial Reynolds number: 2  104
< Re < 3  104; this entails equally high critical Taylor numbers,
which may reach 4  107 and even 2  109.
In order to determine the critical Taylor number, Chandrasekhar
[44] employed linear stability theory so as to calculate this number
for a narrow cylindrical gap (h 1; 0.95; 0.90). He showed that with
regard to narrow annular space and particularly low Reynolds
numbers (the authors suppose that Rea approaches zero), we may
26.5Rea2. The Taylor number is dened
write: Tac(Rea) Tac(0)p
as: Tac R1 e = 2h=1 h. This analysis would appear to
u 2 3 n 2

Fig. 9. Axial evolution of the mixing temperature and the Nusselt number [23].

takes place (as for adiabatic ow, Kaye and Elgar [43] have
shown highly pronounced dependence with regard to axial
ow rate and rotation velocity).
e The ow is stabilized by the temperature gradient, as transition
to turbulence occurs for greater axial Reynolds number for the
diabatic conguration.

Fig. 10. An example of ow in the presence of Taylor vortices [23]. Velocity eld in Fig. 12. Nature of the ow in accordance with Reynolds and Taylor numbers: Inuence
a radially proled cylindrical gap. of cylindrical gap thickness, according to Ref. [43].
1146 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

Taylor vortices. Limits and small description of these ows are pre-
sented in Fig. 14. The results reported by Coney [47,51e54] show that
when the rotation velocity of the inner cylinder rises along with the
Taylor number, vortex wavelength likewise goes up. This phenom-
enon, which also exists without axial owing and is then contingent
upon the way in which the nominal value of the Taylor number is
reached, may be due to the merging of adjacent cells.
Finally several authors have focused on inuence parameters on
transition between ows with and without vortices. Cylindrical gap
geometry assumes a prominent role in this transition. Kaye and
Elgar [43] have determined the transitions for two different relative
cylindrical gap thicknesses h (see Fig. 12). As regards low axial
Reynolds numbers (Rea < 100), annular gap thickness does not
seem to exert a pronounced inuence on the transitions. As for
higher Reynolds numbers, Taylor vortices would seem to appear for
lower Taylor numbers in the case of a narrow cylindrical gap up to
Rea z 1500, Reynolds number above which the effect is reversed.
Fig. 13. Nature of the ow in accordance with the Taylor and Reynolds numbers for an
Similar results have been observed by Jakoby et al. [46] as concerns
adiabatic and a non-adiabatic ow [36]. transition between ows, with or without vortices.
On the contrary, Hasoon and Martin [55] employed the Galerkin
indicate that zones with and without vortices are distinctly sepa- method by using mean axial velocity to analytically analyze the
rated. On the other hand, the results of experiments by Yamada [34] effect of relative cylindrical gap thickness h on the transition from
show that the transition from turbulent ow to turbulent ow with laminar ow to laminar ow with vortices, and they show (Fig. 15)
vortices is punctuated by a critical zone and not by an analytically that the heightening of h stabilizes the ow (the appearance of
dened separation. Jakoby et al. [46] have likewise conrmed the vortices occurs with higher Taylor numbers). The inuence of h is
existence of a transition area rather than a pronounced boundary consequently identical to the inuence of TayloreCouette ow. The
between ows with as opposed to ows without vortices; one may inuence of h seems to diminish as the axial Reynolds number rises.
consult their frequency study for high axial Reynolds and Taylor These results were conrmed by Di Prima and Pridor [56], who
numbers (2  104 < Re < 3  104 et 105 < Ta < 2  108). Most of the studied the problem of theoretically linear stability while none-
publications cited involve relatively low Taylor numbers, that is to theless using a developed and thereby parabolic axial velocity
say approximately 0 < Ta/Tac < 100. The studies are consequently prole, rather than a uniform velocity prole. This difference no
focused on the appearance of vortices and their deformation under doubt explains the deviations between the two types of curves
the inuence of heightened rotation velocity. (Fig. 15), particularly the difference in slope for the highest Rey-
Some studies have also described the different ow and velocity nolds axial numbers. These results are equally conrmed by those
proles involved. For instance, Simmers and Coney [47] analyzed of Wan and Coney [51], whose work has been focused on a Ta and
ow with velocity prole measurements for Re 500; Ta was made Rea range close to that studied by Kaye and Elgar [43].
to vary with regard to relatively narrow cylindrical gaps (h 0.955 These contradictory ndings involving on the one hand Kaye
and 0.8). Following the appearance of vortices, a constant velocity and Elgar [43] and on the other hand Hasoon and Martin [55], Di
zone develops; at once tangential and axial, it is located halfway Prima and Pridor [56] and Wan and Coney [51] can be explained by
between the two walls. This zone would seem to correspond to another parameter of inuence, the axial aspect ratio G. Indeed, it is
relocation of the vortices in an overall movement at a speed equal to hard to achieve variation of h without variation of G, which may
axial speed. This phenomenon has similarly been observed by Astill vary in a proportion of 1e2 for Kaye and Elgar [43], and in
[48] and by Gu and Fahidy [49]. Lueptow et al. [50] carried out a proportion of 1e5 for Wan and Coney [51].
a highly meticulous experimental study pertaining to types of ows Fig. 13 provides some relevant information on the inuence of the
for low Taylor numbers (Ta < 3000) and very low Reynolds numbers axial aspect ratio G. Becker and Kaye [36] therein show the results of
(Rea < 540) in the framework of a narrow cylindrical gap: h 0.885, three authors ([43,57,71]) who started with highly different geom-
e/R1 0.083 and G 41. They observed a strikingly high number of etries, with the ow always remaining adiabatic. An initial reading of
ow regimes ranging from laminar ow to turbulent ow along with this gure shows that a longer cylindrical gap allows vortices to

Fig. 14. Nature of the ow for Rea < 40 and Ta < 3000 [50].
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1147

the choice of a reference temperature may be particularly difcult. As

regards closed cylindrical gap space, the temperature difference used
when calculating the heat transfer coefcient is consequently
(T1  T2). With regard to axial ow rate, on the other hand, a third
temperature that of entering uid must also be taken into account
and it is that much harder to establish a reference temperature.
Becker and Kaye [36] decided to maintain the distinction between
the two walls, but they could compare their results only to the
temperature at entrance of a given uid; they could not dissociate the
heat transfer on each one of the walls. The mean temperature
calculated from the enthalpy assessment utilized by Bouaa et al. [14]
in particular seems to be the most physically accurate, but also the
most difcult to obtain experimentally. An intermediate solution
occasionally adopted (by Grosgeorge [45] for instance) involves
calculation of the mean value between entrance and exit
As a rule, the main results available in the bibliography are
preliminarily limited to the eld: 0  Rea  5  104, 0  Ta  107,
with the exception of a few publications such as those of Hirai et al.
[60] (Even though they do not put forward any experimental
Fig. 15. Critical Taylor number, inuence of cylindrical gap thickness with N 1  h correlations), Grosgeorge [45] and, especially, Childs and Turner [61].
[56]. As is the case with closed smooth cylindrical gaps, heat transfer
in an open annular space is integrally linked to the different types of
appear for lower Taylor numbers (comparison of the results reported ow commonly encountered (Table 2).
by Kaye and Elgar [43] with those of FAGE [57], for example). The inuence of the two main parameters, axial and radial
Moreover, the transition situation proposed by Cornish [58] appears velocity, has been differently quantied by the authors. So, before
to prove that the role of length is dominant in comparison with the studying the effects and contributions of each of these velocities on
role of annular gap thickness. heat transfer, we need to observe how heat transfer has been
The pronounced inuence of G may be explained by the input modeled and connected with axial and radial velocities. Then,
effects and the development of axial velocity proles. Indeed, Astill contrary to uid ow, two heat transfer regions have to be consid-
[48] has taken note of a precise distance, short of which Taylor cells ered: the stator and the rotor.
either do not or only very partially appear. This distance rises along
with Rea and falls along with rotation velocity. It functions with an 4.2.1. Modelizations and correlations
axial velocity prole fully developed at the cylindrical gap entry. Regardless of the techniques put to use by specic authors,
Molki et al. [59] likewise observed, with an adequately high Taylor estimation of the Nusselt number is frequently provided in the form
number (higher than Tac) the appearance of vortices at a distance of experimental correlations established under particular condi-
from the cylindrical gap entrance proportionally as sizable as Rea. tions. The most widely proposed expressions take on the following
Hasoon and Martin [55] have likewise shown that the critical Taylor forms:
number decreases in accordance with distance from the cylindrical
gap entrance. It would consequently seem that only with Axial flow rate rotation/Nu AReaa Tab Prg or Nu
pronouncedly higher rotation velocities do Taylor vortices appear in Reaeff Prg
the so-called zones of development.
Finally and in addition to the geometrical parameters, Becker and The number Reeff is based on an effective velocity dened by:
Kaye [36] studied the inuence of existing heat transfer on vortex  1=2  
structures (see Fig. 13). Transition from laminar ow to laminar ow Veff Va2 auR1 2 0Reeff Veff Dh =n
with vortices proceeds similarly within each of the two congura-
tions. This nding is conrmed through the experimental with A, a, b and g as constants depending on experimental condi-
measurements carried out by Sorour and Coney [53], the critical tions these expression depends on whether they describe the
Taylor number being independent of thermal limit conditions in the inuence of axial ow rate, rotation velocity or a combination of the
absence of axial ow. On the contrary, transition from turbulent ow two by means of the effective Reynolds number Reeff, based on
to turbulent ow with vortices seems to occur for smaller Taylor effective velocity, a combination of the axial and radial contribu-
numbers for the diabatic conguration. As for transition to turbu- tions. Table 3 includes some of the experimental correlations that
lence (3.1.1), the unique character of the Becker and Kaye [36] should best represent the smooth cylindrical gap of a rotating electric
be borne in mind when considering the results they have reported. machine as well as experimental conditions and their eld of
Notwithstanding their limits, these results show that the struc- application.
ture of combined ow in annular space hinges not only on the
operating point (axial Reynolds and Taylor numbers), but also e and
strongly e on geometry and, to a lesser degree, on parietal thermal Table 2
Inuence of rotation speed and axial ow rate on nature of ow and heat transfer

Ta < Tac(Rea) Ta > Tac(Rea)

4.2. Convective heat transfer Rea < ReaC(Ta) Nu constant with Ta and Rea Nu increasing with Ta and
decreasing with Rea
In this type of open conguration, dening a convective heat Rea > ReaC(Ta) Nu constant with Ta and Nu increasing with Ta and
increasing with Rea decreasing with Rea
transfer coefcient is more complex than in a closed conguration;
Table 3
Recapitulation of the main correlations for convective heat transfer in a smooth open cylindrical gap. Note: the Nusselt number denition has been modied so as to make it coincide with those of the other authors and
correspond to the denition given in the present article.

h e/R1 G Rea Ta C.L. thermique DT Correlation

Tachibana and Fukui [41] 0.75 / 0.937 0.03 / 0.17 2.25 / 11.25 380 / 4200 71 / 3400 Variables Rotation: T1  T2 Rotation: Nu 0.092(TaPr)1/3
Axial ow:
Axial ow: Nu ARea0.8Pr1/3
T1  Tmean
and A 0.015(1 2,3(Dh/L))h0.45
Global: f ft fa
Kuzay and Scott [62] 0.571 0.75 12 1.5  104 / 6.5  105 4.87  109 Heated stator T 1  T2 Axial ow: Nu0 0.022Rea0.8Pr0,5
/ 8.65  109 Insulated rotor
Global: Nu Nu0(1 b2)0.87
b (1/p)(Dh/R1)(uR1/Va)

M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

Nijaguna and 0.75 0.165 195 293 / 1995 0 / 3.6  105 Insulated stator T 1  T2 Global: s Ta/Tac
Mathiprakasam [37] Heated rotor
1 < s < 4.817: Nu 4.294s0.4845
s > 4.817: Nu 5.08s0.3507
4 5 5
Kosterin and Finatev [67] 0.78 0.0271 77.5 3.10 / 3  10 0 / 8  10 Insulated stator T1  Tmean Global: rotor: Nu 0.018 Reeff0.8
Heated rotor Reeff (Rea2 0.6Rerot2)1/2
5 6
Grosgeorges [45] 0.98 0.02 200 9900 / 26,850 1.4.10 / 4.9  10 Insulated stator T1  Tmean Rotor:
Heated rotor Global: Nu 0.023j(Rea)Pr1/3Reeff0.8
with j(Rea) 0.16Rea0.175
and Reeff (Rea2 0.8Rerot2)1/2
Childs and Turner [61] 0.869 0.15 13.3 1.7.105 / 13.7  105 6.107 / 12  1010 Insulated stator T 1  T2 Axial ow: Nu 0.023Rea0.8Pr0.5
Heated rotor Global:((Nu  Nuz)/Nuz) 0.068(uR1/Va)2
4 6
Simmers and Coney [54] 0.955 0.024 / 0.124 65 / 288 400 / 1200 10 / 2  10 Heated stator T 2  Tm Stator:
and 0.8 Insulated rotor
a Ta
BA= 1=2 $h= 1=4 Ta0:6175
1h 1h c

with B Pr$f1 Pr$exp h= 1=4
3 1h
Ah= 1=2 Re0:5 Ta0:1325 $Ta0:1175  1  1g
1  h2 a c

1 h2 1  h2 =
and A
2 1  h2 =
Bouaa et al. [14] 0.956 0.045 98.4 1.1.104 / 3.1  104 1800 / 4  106 Cooled stator T 1  Tm Global: Rotor: Nu 0.025 Reeff0.8
Heated rotor T2  Tm
Reeff (Rea2 0.5Rerot2)1/2
Au stator: Nu 0.046 Reeff0.7
Reeff (Rea2 0.25Rerot2)1/2
Gilchrist et al. [64] 0.833 0.2 56.9 950 / 2080 6
10 / 5  10 7
Heated uid DTLM Rotor:
Cooled rotor Nu 0.65Ta0.226Pr0.333
4 4 5
Hanagida and 0.99 0.0094 283 900 / 10 2.3.10 / 2  10 Heated stator T 1  Tm Stator or rotor:
Kawasaki [65] Heated rotor T2  Tm
St 0.218X1/2Pr2/3 quand X  5000
St 0.0072X0.1 Pr2/3 quand X  5000
Avec X Rea2/Rerot
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1149

As regards combined ow, the authors mentioned in Table 3 of inuence: X Rea2/Rerot. Based on the ratio rather than the sum
propose several different ways of quantifying the respective roles of total of two Reynolds numbers, this parameter is derived from
the Taylor and axial Reynolds numbers. studies of the friction coefcient.
Tachibana and Fukui [41] multiply their results by a coefcient Childs and Turner [61] studied convective heat transfer in
that takes into account the axial lengthening of annular space a relatively short and wide annular area; the Taylor and Reynolds
(Table 3). Their approach consists in directly adding the heat ux numbers were quite high in comparison with most currently avail-
transferred by simple rotation to the heat ux transferred through able references. Without rotation, they found a usual expression of
simple axial ow. The temperature difference used for the contri- the Nusselt number, which varies in conjunction with the axial
bution of rotation alone is (T1  T2), while for axial ow, it is Reynolds number at the power of 0.8. With rotation, the researchers
(T1  (To Te)/2). Tachibana and Fukui [41] consequently cannot take modied the correlation through a coefcient in accordance with
into account any possible combining of axial and radial ow. Their the ratio of the two velocities characteristic of the ow. This ratio
approach has remained less inuential than those of the other may be likened to the b utilized by par Kuzay and Scott [62] and also
authors mentioned in Table 3. to the X utilized by Hanagida and Kawasaki [65].
Kuzay and Scott [62] propose a correlation based upon a char- Finally, Jakoby et al. [46] are the only authors to have considered
acteristic ow parameter. 1/b represents the axial path of the ow local heat transfer at the entrance of the cylindrical gap, taking into
in terms of hydraulic diameter during half a revolution of the inner account the entrance region. They have provided a correlation of
cylinder: b 1=pDh =R1 uR1 =Va . the overall Nusselt number as integrated on a cylindrical gap length
Through their use of b, Kuzay and Scott [62] modify the axial of L (coefcients are presented in Table 4):
contribution to heat transfer so as to take into account the role
0 1=2 1N
assumed by rotation. Va2 uR1 2 L
Since there exists a relation between the axial Reynolds number Nu C @ A with C
and the critical Taylor number, Nijaguna and Mathiprakasam [37] y
utilized a different approach, which consisted in correlating the
a0 $etGb au $etGb
Nusselt number only to the ratio: s Ta/Tac. and N
This approach may be explained by the low degree and etGb etGb
amplitude of Rea variation. A supplementary difculty consists a0 $etGb au $etGb

in accurately assessing the critical Taylor number. Nijaguna and etGb etGb
Mathiprakasam [37] partially extricated themselves from this
These observations once again conrm the specic character of
problem as follows: when the axial Reynolds number is sufciently
each study. The extrapolation of the results to other particular cases
low (Re < 2000 in this case), the transition is highly pronounced, and
is necessarily problematic.
the crucial Taylor number is that much easier to measure. Under
a turbulent regime, on the other hand, the critical Taylor number is
4.2.2. Rotor convective heat transfer
considerably more difcult to estimate. Moreover, Nijaguna and
In the rst part, we will analyze heat transfer on the rotor, which
Mathiprakasam [37] provide no explanation as to the signicance of
has been the focus of most of the studies. Differences between rotor
the critical s value assumed at 4.817. This value may perhaps be
and stator heat transfer and specic evolution on the stator will be
linked to the transition observed by Becker and Kaye [36] and by
presented in the paragraph 3.2.3.
Bouaa et al. [12,14] for Ta 104 in a case without axial ow (Fig. 8).
We may also cite Simmers and Coney [47], who correlated the Inuence of axial ow. According to paragraph 3.2.1, most of
Nusselt number to the product ReanTam.
the authors qualied the axial speed inuence using an axial Rey-
Gazley [6], Luke [63] and Bouaa et al. [12,14] correlated their
nolds number Rea. This axial Reynolds number does not have the
thermal results with an effective Reynolds number characteristic of
same effect on convective heat transfer in a laminar as in a turbu-
helicoid ow
lent regime when the structures are present.
   1=2  As regards laminar ow (see Fig. 16 lower part), most of the
Reeff Veff Dh =n Va2 auR1 2 Dh n authors [14,36] agree that radial velocity exerts little if any inu-
ence: Nusselt number is constant until a critical Taylor number,
corresponding to vortex appearance. The higher the Reynolds
where a is a weighted coefcient potentially taking into account the
number, the greater the critical Taylor number (and the larger the
rotation of the inner cylinder at the level of heat transfer. The different
low inuence area). In fact, a stronger axial ow rate drives away
studies by these authors allow for characterization of convective heat
the Taylor vortices toward the exit.
transfer with regard to relatively high Taylor and Reynolds numbers,
As for turbulent ow, the diminution in heat transfer caused by
and their correlations are worthy of consideration.
the number of structures may be compensated for by increased
Gilchrist et al. [64] are among the few authors to have worked
convective heat transfer due to turbulence. That is why, in one
with a uid different from air, namely water. Moreover, their
example, for Ta 5  104, the Nusselt number declines along with
measurements are based on heated cylindrical gap uid and
the axial number up to 1592, and rises once that gure is exceeded.
a cooled rotor. Their correlations do not take into account the axial
Reynolds number, which does not appear to have affected heat
transfer during their experiments e a nding that is largely
Table 4
explained by the limited Rea area. Correlations coefcients.
Hanagida and Kawasaki [65] worked in a more traditional
manner, with air as the uid being studied and while using electric Steady ow Periodic ow

heating systems to create pronounced variations in temperature. N C N C

And yet, contrarily to some other authors, they determined the heat a0 0.8 0.04 0.8 0.04
transfer on both the rotor and the stator and went so far as to au 0.5 0.6 0.625 0.136
observe a lack of inuence on uid/rotor heat transfer in stator t 0.27 0.32 0.27 0.3
b 12.1 8.85 15 12.9
heating. One may also note their utilization of an original parameter
1150 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

that their ow changes from laminar to turbulent with regard to the

dimensions of a cylindrical gap. They went on to observe a rise in
the overall Nusselt number when cylindrical gap length has been
reduced, but they essentially attribute this variation to the
appearance of a turbulent ow zone at the end of the cylindrical
gap with regard to the shortest lengths of the latter. Inuence of rotation. Heat transfer is subsequently favored

by the appearance of vortices once the Taylor number rises (see
Fig. 16). In accordance with the ow regime, these structures come
about in different ways. In laminar ow, the structures appearance
is manifested through an abrupt change in the slope of the Nusselt
number variation in accordance with the Taylor number. In
a turbulent regime, on the other hand, this change of direction is
identied not with a threshold but rather in terms of a critical eld.
Considering the correlations of Table 3, the inuence of the Taylor
number after the appearance of vortices, is expressed at approxi-
mately Ta1/3 by nearly all the authors. Small differences between
Fig. 16. Evolution of the Nusselt number in accordance with Taylor numbers given at
Rea by Becker and Kaye [36]. authors can be attributed to differences in annular spaces, experi-
mental conditions and Taylor and axial Reynolds numbers areas. But,
concerning the inuence of rotation compared to axial ow, opin-
After the transition to turbulence and even if annular spaces, ions tend to differ greatly. Thus, comparison of results of the authors
experimental conditions and the axial Taylor and Reynolds using effective Reynolds number Reeff Va2 auR1 2 1=2 Dh =n
numbers are quite different. Study of Table 3 shows that the shows great differences. Unfortunately, axial and radial velocity
inuence of the axial Reynolds number is expressed approximately proles are quite different from one author to another and so, it is
by a classical Rea0.8 (encountered in many duct correlations such difcult to compare studies. For example, Hanagida and Kawasaki
as Dittus and Boelter [66]). [65], who have carried out measurements in laminar as well as
Previous results pertain to developed axial ow. But in many turbulent ow, have observed only a weak inuence of rotation in
TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow applications, the cylindrical gap is turbulent regime, and a pronouncedly greater inuence for laminar
too short to permit a developed ow. Given the importance of the regime.
entrance area in classical axial duct ow, numerous recent studies Nevertheless, many authors have noted a pronounced prepon-
have dealt with the development of an axial regime and its inu- derance of the inuence of axial velocity over that of radial velocity;
ence on heat transfer (and of mass, as well). One of the less recent they include Bouaa et al. [14] (a 0.5 for the rotor), and Kosterin
studies of this type was carried out by Hirai et al. [60], who worked and Finatev [67] (a 0.6). Gazley [6] indicated in his study
on a water ow. They observed that the Nusselt number declines a greater inuence (a 0.25) but axial ow is clearly turbulent and
from the onset of the cylindrical gap and then tends to reach not developed before entering the cylindrical gap. So, heat transfer
a constant number. This nding perfectly corresponds to thermal due to axial ow is high at the entrance length, a factor that may
development of ow in a pipe or duct. The higher the rotation help to explain the weak inuence of rotation.
speed, the more rapidly Nu tends to reach its numerical limit. This Grosgeorge [45] seems to report strong dependence of the Nus-
observation is apparently conrmed by the results reported by selt number on rotation as regards high axial Reynolds numbers
Molki et al. [59], who worked on mass transfer (naphthalene) with (rotation inuence coefcient a 0.8). But, as we can see in Table 3,
an air ow of which the input had been controlled in such a way as axial Reynolds number appears twice in his correlation. In the nal
to reduce the dimensions of the zone preceding the cylindrical gap. analysis, axial velocity is also quite inuent (even if it is difcult to
It should nonetheless be noted that the cylindrical gap is pro- compare with other authors). Jacoby et al. [46] observe that the
portionately much shorter than the one presented by Hirai et al. contribution of Taylor vortices to heat transfer is relatively weak.
[60] and consequently does not quite allow for developed ow to be According to these authors, radial velocity exerts as much inuence
reached. On the other hand, heightened spatial accuracy allows for on heat transfer as axial velocity (a 1). So, radial velocity has
a rise of the Sherwood number (and thus of the Nusselt number) for a greater inuence in comparison with other authors. This is prob-
high Taylor numbers from a given length upwards; the higher the ably due to the principally laminar axial ow in their experiment
axial Reynolds number, the greater the length. Smoke-based visu- since inuence of rotation is greater in laminar regime (Hanagida
alizations have enabled researchers to conrm that the heightening and Kawasaki [65]). Finally, Gilchrist et al. [64] go so far as to observe
corresponds to the appearance of Taylor vortices. A heightened that as regards the conguration they have studied, rotation alone
Nusselt number was likewise observed by Bouaa et al. [14] in spite exerts inuence on heat transfer. It is true that in their experiment,
of the fact that their ow was already partially developed prior to a particularly small Rea area (950 / 2080) as compared with the Ta
cylindrical gap entrance. This fact also explains the highly limited area (106 / 5  107) may explain the absent observable variation of
decrease of the Nusselt number at the onset of the cylindrical gap. the Nusselt number.
In one particular case [60], as in another, [14], the local heat transfer As concerns the inuence of thermal conditions applied to each
appears on an overall basis to have risen slightly when Ta rose, heated, cooled or insulated wall, Hanagida and Kawasaki [65]
except in the zone where Taylor vortices appeared; in this zone the studied the case of one wall (rotor or stator) heated alone and of
transfer would seem to have risen more sharply. The last study of two walls heated simultaneously, but we have not detected any
this kind was carried out by Jakoby et al. [46]. It involves an air ow pronounced differences in their respective congurations.
for several cylindrical gap sizes. Total cylindrical gap length is not
modied, and G consequently varies together with e. Researchers 4.2.3. Stator convective heat transfer
have also noted the pronounced inuence of the entrance zone and As may be observed in Table 3, few authors have studied stator
of regime development; their nding is underscored by the fact heat transfer. This is largely due to their simple denition of the
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1151

heat transfer coefcient (heat transfer between rotor and stator:

h l gradTjw =Trotor  Tstator ) [37,41,61,62] and to the fact that
their experiments allow for measurement of only one of the two
walls, which is generally the rotor.
Kuzay and Scott [62] studied the thermal behavior of the xed
stator wall. Through their use of b (see paragraph 3.2.1), they l
modied the axial contribution to heat transfer so as to take into
account the role assumed by rotation. They note a limited role of
rotation and estimate a lower Nusselt number than those estimated
on the rotor by other authors. p
Simmers and Coney [47], who correlated the Nusselt number at
the stator to the product ReanTam have also studied stator heat
transfer. The Rea and Ta areas are unfortunately so far from those
discussed by Kuzay and Scott [62] that it is all but impossible to
make a comparison. In both cases, the limited inuence of rotation
is mentioned.
We may go on to note that two studies have been focused on
comparison of heat transfer to the stator and the rotor: Hanagida and
Kawasaki [65], and Bouaa et al. [14]. Hanagida and Kawasaki [65] R1
detected no noteworthy difference between the two walls, but their
Taylor number range was relatively limited. The study conducted by
Bouaa et al. [14] was more wide-ranging; the researchers observed
rather similar stator and rotor developments with regard to axial
ow and pronounced differences with regard to radial ow (rotation
coefcient inuence at coefcient a 0.5 for the rotor and at a 0.25
Fig. 17. Geometry of a slotted TayloreCouette ow.
for the stator). The weighted coefcient for the stator is lower than
with regard to the rotor. This appreciable difference stems from the
dynamic conditions imposed on the walls. The inuence exerted by The hydraulic diameter is expressed as:Dh 2pR22  R21
rotation on convective heat transfer on the stator is likely to be nlp=pR2 R1 np. One may dene an equivalent smooth
attenuated to the degree that the cylindrical gap is widened. cylindrical gap with the same hydraulic diameter and the same
rotor diameter with an equivalent width for the annular eeq and an
5. Slotted cylindrical gap equivalent inner radius for the stator R2eq:Dh 2R2eq  R1
2eeq , which gives eeq pR22  R21 nlp=pR2 R1 np.
The studies involving non-smooth cylindrical gaps may be
classied in two categories. Some of them attempt to reproduce the 5.1. Flow structure
cylindrical gaps of electric machines, the slots being carved out in
the packs of sheet metal comprising the stator and the rotor that Most of the studies pertaining to slotted cylindrical gaps are
allow for the passage of various coils. Other studies are aimed at thermal studies; they may nonetheless provide useful information
improving heat transfer within the cylindrical gap. The objective of on ow dynamics.
this part is to consider the thermo-aerodynamic behavior of the
slotted cylindrical gap. Only a few articles contain references to an 5.1.1. TayloreCouette ow
axially grooved cylindrical gap. What is more, most of the reported As regards ow without axial ow, Tachibana and Fukui [41]
results are of experimental origin and remain general (or global) have compared the critical Taylor number of smooth cylindrical
[6,10,41]. Only the analyses carried out by Hayase et al. [13] and gaps with the critical Taylor number at the rotor for slotted cylin-
Hirai et al. [60] put forward, by means of numerical simulation, drical gaps. The cylindrical gaps they studied are not described in
a more fully nuanced description of ow and heat transfer in their entirety; the number of slots on the rotor and the diameter of
a closed and slotted cylindrical gap. the rotor and the stator have not been specied. The cylindrical gap
Moreover, highly diversied geometry renders it exceedingly would appear to be wide (up to 20.5 mm), and the slots are likewise
difcult to compare, much less generalize. Among the possible wide (10 mm for 3 mm of depth). The rotor is heated. The authors
geometric parameters, one may cite the following: existence of show that when slots are present, the transition toward ow with
slots on the rotor, on the stator, or on both walls simultaneously, the Taylor vortices is delayed: Tac 1680 if the rotor is smooth, and
width 1 and the depth (p) of the slots, which may vary from 0.05e to TaC 6400 if the rotor is slotted. It should be noted that the authors
10e, their number, their layout, and possible geometric peculiarities take the slots existence into account by modifying the size of the
(Jeng et al. [68] have studied a rotor presenting longitudinal slots cylindrical gap: eslotted esmooth p/2. Their results were reached
themselves equipped with internal slots). In addition, there remain on the basis of several cylindrical gap geometries, and it is difcult
the dynamic parameters: presence or absence of axial ow, axial to dissociate the role directly assumed by the slots from that
Reynolds number, and Taylor number. As regards the last two attributable to annular space thickness. Tachibana and Fukui [41]
parameters (Rea and Ta), it should be noted that while some attribute the variation in Tac to the variation in cylindrical gap size,
authors take into account any geometrical differences between and not to the slots. In total contradiction with the preceding result,
cases with and without slots, others apply the same denition to the study authored by Pecheux et al. [69] observe no difference as
both cases. And nally, rigor demands that when slots are to be regards the value of Tac between the smooth and the slotted cases
found, the following, above-mentioned parameters must be added: (Tac 1790 for the slotted case). The study proceeds by visualiza-
number of slots n, their width l, their depth p, which enters into the tion in water as regards a slotted cylindrical gap: R1 14 cm,
slot aspect ratio: The characteristic physical quantities have got to R2 14.5 cm, L 64 cm, 48 slots on the stator: p 1.5 cm and
be modied (Fig. 17). l 0.83 cm and Ta u2 R1 e3 =n2 . The apparent contradiction of
1152 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

these results with regard to those reported by the other authors noted that the higher the rotation velocity, the greater the inter-
may be partially explained by the difference in geometry; Pcheux action of cylindrical gap ow with slot ow, which drives some of
et al. [69] worked on a cylindrical gap equipped with particularly the air from the gap toward the channels when rotation velocity
large slots (p equals 3 times the cylindrical gap) located only in the remains high.
stationary part. Moreover, no smooth geometry was studied, and
the smooth/slotted comparison was carried out with regard to the 5.2. Convective heat transfer
results reported by other authors. Finally, it should be noted that
when dening the Taylor number, the researchers did not take the 5.2.1. TayloreCouette ow
geometry into account. And use of the hydraulic diameter would In the absence of axial ow, and below the critical threshold,
yield: Tac w 3900. The above remark appears particularly plausible Gardiner and Sabersky [10] reported that the presence or absence
in light of the fact that a geometric study quite similar to that of the slot has no effect on heat transfer, which rather tends to be
carried out by Pcheux et al. [69] was performed with regard to air driven, given their location, by natural convection.
by Bouaa et al. [14], who indeed observed thermal transition On the contrary, Bouaa et al. [14] observed slight evolution of
neighboring Tac 3900. Considering all those remarks, it seems Nu in the slotted case, but not in the smooth case (Fig. 19); this is
that transition to Taylor ow is delayed if a correct denition of the due to heightened interaction with rotation speed between cylin-
Taylor number is used. drical gap ow and slot ow.
Above and beyond the transition, only a few experimental studies Bouaa et al. [12,14] have shown that above the critical
have been conducted as regards the dynamics of TayloreCouette threshold, the presence of channels at the level of the stator favors
ow in a slotted cylindrical gap, and most of them have been based heat transfer, especially for high Taylor numbers. They go on to put
on numerical studies. Pcheux et al. [69] noted that the wavelength forward a correlation:
of the Taylor vortices is about twice the length of the vortices present
in the smooth cylindrical gap. Moreover, they observed that the 6000 < Ta < 1.4  106: Nu 0.132(Ta)0.3
structures uctuate in time, and they attributed this fact to inter- 4  106 < Ta < 2  107: Nu 0.029(Ta)0.4
action with the internal structure of the slots. Numerically, Hayase
et al. [13] and Bouaa et al. [12] have worked with slotted congu- The convective heat transfer is equally heightened from 40 to
rations (especially on a large-slotted stator), and they took note of 50%, above the threshold, when the rotor is slotted (Gardiner and
interaction between cylindrical gap ow and slot ow (Fig. 18). The Sabersky [10]). According to these authors, it is once again difcult
higher the rotation velocity, the more pronounced the interaction. to dene the exact impact of natural convection as regards these
5.1.2. TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow In addition, Hayase et al. [13] have shown in their numerical
In the presence of axial ow, Gardiner and Sabersky [10] study that when vortices are present, the Nusselt number is higher
underscored the paradoxical behavior of the critical Taylor number, with slots on the rotor than with slots on the stationary wall. As for
which at rst goes up, along with the Reynolds number, before it the evolution of local Nu, it generally corresponds to that reported
goes down: at rst it is 104 without ow, then it is 6  104 for by Bouaa et al. [12,14], in spite of the fact that in their study, these
a Reynolds number of 800, nally it is 1.5  104 for 2700. researchers dealt with slots on the stator.
As for Lee and Minkowycz [70], they reported that with slots and Axial distribution of the averaged rotor-located Nusselt number
with regard to different cylindrical gap geometries, the length of employed along the internal cylinder and based on the temperature
dynamic ow development is small and even of negligible exten- difference between rotor and stator has the same overall compo-
sion for high Taylor numbers (Ta > 105). They also observed that sition for two-dimensional and three-dimensional calculations
given the respective values of rotation velocity and axial ow (Fig. 20). One may note that the heat transfer is weak at the slots
(103 < Ta < 2.107 and 52 < Rea < 1000), a heightened axial Reynolds and preponderant in the annular part.
number has little effect on ow and heat transfer. The more globally oriented study by Gazley [6] presents results
In their panoramic study and by means of a more local approach contradicting those reported by Gardiner and Sabersky [10] and by
to ow in a slotted cylindrical gap, Bouaa et al. [14] carried out an Hayase et al. [13] and by Bouaa et al. [12,14]. According to Gazley
analysis devoted to the respective roles of rotation and axial ow. [6], in the case of laminar ow the presence of slots entails an
The results reported by these authors are applicable with regard to
4400  Rea  1:7104 ; 300  Ret  6:4  104 , (corresponding to 103
 Ta  4:8  107 ) for deep slots located at the stator. The authors

Fig. 19. Distribution of mean Nusselt number for smooth and slotted cylinders
Fig. 18. Velocity elds in a schema (r, z) crossing the channel (according to Ref. [12]). (according to Ref. [14]).
M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155 1153

Gazleys [6] and other authors results). Moreover, according to these

authors it is not possible to correlate Nu according to (Rea aRerot)
with regard to a slotted stator.
Several authors such as Gardiner and Sabersky [10], Gilchrist
et al. [64], and Hanagida and Kawasaki [65] have observed
heightened heat transfer, but have not observed any noteworthy
difference between slotted and smooth cases in the evolution of the
heat transfer with regard to characteristic quantities.
On the contrary, Jeng et al. [68] have noted different forms of
evolution at the level of the rotor. As for Bouaa et al. [14], they are
convinced that if there is no actual difference at the rotor; the
Nusselt number at the stator depends essentially on the ratio Vt/Va.
In terms of correlations, let us mention those reported by
Hanagida and Kawasaki [65] at the stator and the rotor with regard
to a slotted stator with 60 axial channels at h 0.99, e/R1 0.0094,
G 283, 4 mm < p < 22.5 mm and l 12.5 mm, and 4400 < Rea <
1.7  104, 500 < Ret < 6.4  104:

St 0.297X1/2 Pr2/3 when X  4000

St 0.0026X1/5 Pr2/3 when X  4000 with X Rea2/Rerot

And those of Bouaa et al. [14] with regard to a slotted stator with
48 axial channels, h 0.956, e/R1 0.045, G 98.4, p 15 mm and
l 8.3 mm and 4400 < Rea < 1.7  104, 300 < Ret < 6.4  104:
Fig. 20. Distribution of the Nusselt number for the slotted cylinder e three-dimen-
sional calculation, q 10 , Ta 218 (according to Ref. [13]).
At the rotor: Nu 0.021 Reeff0.8 with Reeff (Rea2 0.5Rerot2)1/2
At the stator: (Nu  Nu0)/Nu0 with Nu0 0.021 Rea0.8
overall diminution of the rotor-located Nusselt numbers (from 10%
when only the rotor is slotted, to 20% when the two walls are 6. Conclusion
channeled). In the case of turbulent ow, he observed a slight rise of
the Nusselt number when the slots were present. It is nonetheless In light of the results summarized above, we may conclude that
worth noting that Gazley [6] based his study on thermally insulated notwithstanding the sizable quantity of studies focused on the
slots. The efcient surface offered for heat transfer is consequently subject of ows in rotating annular space, the similarly large
quite small, and contrarily to a laminar case, it can be only partially number of inuence and impact factors still leaves many question
compensated by supplementary ow disturbance. marks pertaining to the dynamics and, more specically, to the heat
As for Tachibana and Fukui [41], they have shown that above transfer in the ow.
approximately Ta 4  104, slot presence has no effect on the heat As regards a smooth closed cylindrical gap, that is to say a Tay-
transfer coefcient. loreCouette ow, its dynamics are now well-documented. Heat
transfer has been rather comprehensively studied, at least from
5.2.2. TayloreCouetteePoiseuille ow a global standpoint; only a few congurations, such as very large
In the presence of axial ow, several authors have recently cylindrical gaps (h < 0.8) and a rotating external cylinder, remain
devoted attention to the problem, but taken as a whole, their virtually unexplored. Moreover, a high degree of congruence
results remains just as self-contradictory as the previous ones. between numerical and experimental results appears to open up the
A majority of the authors nevertheless observes heightened heat possibility of studying local heat transfer, which up until now have
transfer when slots are present. For example, Gardiner and Sabersky remained somewhat neglected, by means of numerical simulations.
[10] take note, with a low Reynolds number (800), of heightened Lastly, the complex effects of natural convection on ow and heat
convective heat transfer, even prior to the transition. Gilchrist et al. transfer call for more in-depth studies, even though such inuence
[64] and Jeng et al. [68] (who work on congurations equipped with appears negligible when rotation velocity grows high (Ta > Tac), as is
small teeth at the rotor) have calculated an overall improvement the case in the majority of industrial applications.
in Nu ranging from 5 to 40%. It should be noted that in determination On the other hand, the multiplication of inuential factors
of the characteristic quantities (Reynolds number.), slot geometry renders open cylindrical gap (TayloreCouetteePoiseuille) far less
is not taken into account, and that this omission may modify the widely understood, and it leads to contradictory conclusions among
results (variation as regards the heat transfer surface). the authors. This state of affairs would seem to be essentially due to
According to Gazley [6], on the other hand, the presence of slots the entrance or input conditions for axial ow, whether it be
at the stator or rotor has no effect on the rotor-located Nusselt dynamic or thermal. Indeed, the impact of velocity prole and
number. But slots are thermally insulated in Gazley [6] study. development length on cylindrical gap ow, and particularly on the
Moreover, heat transfer coefcient is calculated between rotor and Taylor structures, appear to be thermally conrmed by the inuence
stator whereas previous authors have calculated heat transfer of cylinder length on heat transfer. It should be added that important
coefcient between rotor and uid. data such as entry velocity prole and turbulence rate are generally
Yet, Bouaa et al. [14] (once again in the case of a slotted stator) not given consideration by the authors, and this omission no doubt
have distinguished stator from rotor-based heat transfer. They have partially explains to striking disparities in their reported results.
observed that convective heat transfer is heightened with the What is more, there exists a multitude of denitions pertaining to
presence of channels at the stator, but they have also noted heat transfer and, more particularly, to the reference temperature.
a degradation of rotor-based heat transfer with regard to the smooth One may suppose that only more local studies, in uid as well as on
cylindrical gap (which can explain the contradiction between the wall surface, are likely to eliminate the many question marks
1154 M. Fnot et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 50 (2011) 1138e1155

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