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# Correlations in Free

Convection
Prof. A. Agrawal
IIT Bombay
External Free Convection Flow
Generally correlations are of the form
n
L L
hL
Nu CRa
k
= =
3
S
L L
g (T T )L
Ra Gr Pr
|
uo

= =
Typically, n = for laminar and
1/3 for turbulent flow
Note: h
L
independent of L in turbulent regime
All properties evaluated at film temperature,
T
f
= (T
s
+T
inf
)/2
L
Nu
Vertical plate (T
s
= const case)
2
1/6
L
L
8/ 27
9/16
0.387Ra
Nu 0.825
1 (0.492 / Pr)
| |
|
= +
|
( +

\ .
which is applicable for the entire range of Ra

For moderate Ra, second term dominats. So Nu ~ Ra
1/3

as before
For small Ra, conduction parallel to the plate is important,
The first term accounts for this.
C = 0.59 and n = for laminar flow (10
4
< Ra
L
< 10
9
)
C = 0.10 and n = 1/3 - turbulent flow (10
9
< Ra
L
< 10
13
)
Alternatively, use
Vertical plate (q
s
= const case)
Here q
s
is known but not T
s
, so cannot
calculate Gr or Ra. Also T
s
is not const.
on the plate. In fact,
1. Guess T
s
at x = L/2
2. Calculate (T
s
(L/2)-T
inf
) and Gr (and Ra)
3. Use earlier (T
s
= const case) correlations
to find
4. Check if . Else go to step 1.
L
Nu
''
s
s
q
h
T (L/ 2) T

1/5
s
(T (x) T ) x

Inclined Plate
For heated inclined plate, flow velocities are
retarded on the bottom surface of the plate
- replace g by gcos(u) in the correlations
However on top surface, buoyancy force tends to
move fluid away from the plate
The resulting flow is three-dimensional and the
convective heat transfer coefficient is higher
The combined effect may not be a reduction in
heat transfer from the plate
Horizontal Plate
If heated plate is facing downwards, flow
must move horizontally before it can
ascend the edges of the plate. Convective
heat transfer is ineffective.

(A
s
is surface area, P is perimeter of plate)
If heated plate is facing upwards, convective
heat transfer is effective.
1/ 4 5 10
s
L
L L
A
Nu 0.27Ra (10 Ra 10 ); L
P
= s s =
1/ 4 4 7
s
L
L L
1/3 7 11
L
L L
A
Nu 0.54Ra (10 Ra 10 ); L
P
Nu 0.15Ra (10 Ra 10 );
= s s =
= s s
Cylinder
Vertical cylinder (length L, diameter D)
If boundary layer thickness < D
(satisfied if D/L > 35/Gr
L
1/4
), apply flat plate correlations.

Horizontal cylinder

Boundary layer development begins at u=0 and
concludes at u=t, with formation of a plume ascending
from the plume
If flow remains laminar, Nu is max at u=0 and decreases
monotonically till u=t. Becomes non-monotonic if flow
transits to turbulence
2
1/6
12
D
D D 8/27
9/16
0.387Ra
Nu 0.60 ; Ra 10
1 (0.559 / Pr)
| |
|
= + s
|
( +

\ .
Sphere
1/ 4
11
D
D D
4/9
9/16
0.589Ra
Nu 2 ; Ra 10 , Pr 0.7
1 (0.469 / Pr)
| |
|
= + s >
|
( +

\ .
As Ra
D
0, Nu
D
2; corresponds
to pure conduction