# 4.7 4.

7A

NATURAL CONVECTION HEAT TRANSFER Introduction

Natural convection heat transfer occurs when a solid surface is in contact with a gas or liquid which is at a different temperature from the surface. Density differences in the fluid arising from the heating process provide the buoyancy force required to move the fluid. Free or natural convection is observed as a result of the motion of the liquid. An example of heat transfer by natural convection is a hot radiator used for heating a room. Cold air encountering the radiator is heated and rises in natural convection because of buoyancy forces. The theoretical derivation of equations for natural convection heat-transfer coefficients requires the solution of motion and energy equations. An important heat-transfer system occurring in process engineering is that in which heat is being transferred from a hot vertical plate to a gas or liquid adjacent to it by natural convection. The fluid is not moving by forced convection but only by natural or free convection. In fig. 4.7-1 the vertical flat plate is heated and the free convection boundary layer is formed. The velocity profile differs from that in a forced convection system in that the velocity at the wall is zero and also is zero at the other edge of the boundary layer, since the free stream velocity is zero for natural convection. The boundary layer initially is laminar as shown, but at some distance from the leading edge it starts to become turbulent. The wall temperature is TwK and the bulk temperature Tb. The differential momemtum-balance equation is written for the x and y directions for the control volume (dx dy 1). The driving force is the buoyancy force in the gravitational field and is due to the density difference of the fluid. The momentum balace becomes

Where is the density at the bulk temperature Tb and the density at T. the density difference can be expressed in terms of the volumetric coefficient of expansion and substituted back into Eq. (4.7-1):

For gases,

. The energy-balance equation can be expressed as follows:

The solutions of these equations have been obtained by using integral methods of analysis discussed in Section 3.10. Results have been obtained for a vertical plate, which is the simplest case and serves to introduce the dimensionless Grashof number discussed below. However, in