Natural convection across a vertical layered porous cavity

F. C. Lai, F. A. Kulacki

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63 Scopus citations


Numerical studies are reported for steady-state natural convection in a two-dimensional layered porous cavity heated from the side wall. Emphasis is placed on the effects caused by the sublayer thickness ratio, permeability contrast and non-uniform conductivity in a system comprising two sublayers. Calculations have covered a wide range of these parameters. It has been observed that the flow and temperature fields for a layered structure with K1/K2 < 1 are completely different from those of K1/K2 > 1. When the thermal properties are uniform, the average Nusselt number for a layered system of K1/K2 < 1 is always greater than that of a homogeneous system, and it increases with Rayleigh number, but decreases with the sublayer thickness ratio. For systems of K1/K2 > 1, the average Nusselt number is always less than that of a homogeneous system, and it increases with both Rayleigh number and the thickness ratio. When there exists a difference in the thermal conductivity of the two sublayers, a second recirculating cell is generated in the less permeable layer for K1/K2 > 1. The average Nusselt number is found to increase with the conductivity ratio for K1/K2 > 1, and decrease for K1/K2 > 1. Heat transfer results including streamline and isotherm patterns, temperature and velocity profiles, and the Nusselt vs Rayleigh number relation in terms of these parameters, are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1260
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

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