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A numerical study is presented on the problem of 2D natural convection in a differentially heated cavity. The equations governing this unsteady flow phenomenon were solved using the vorticity-stream function formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations and heat. The results obtained are compared with the results of the literature and make it possible to validate this approach. In this work, we studied the heat transfer in a cavity and we determined the variation of the local Nusselt number which allows obtaining the rate of thermal transfer by convection in an enclosure. We analyzed thermal fields for different Rayleigh numbers by selecting two points to visualize temperature fluctuations over time. Thus, the creation of the ascending and descending movements of the fluid inside the cavity was analyzed. We have also established temperature histograms for the graphical presentation of the temperature distribution. The modeling of the two-dimensional problem was established using a “Fortran 90” calculation code. The results also show the different vorticity contour maps in laminar flow regime. We have presented our results of numerical simulations using a visualization tool. The Rayleigh number varies in the range of 10
^{3} to 10
^{6} for a Prandtl number equal to 0.72 corresponding to air.

In general, numerical resolutions of heat transfer problems [

We are interested here in the numerical 2D simulation of natural air convection (Pr = 0.72) confined in a square cavity heated on the central halves of its vertical walls. It was interesting to conduct research in the study of the behavior of the flow for different numbers of Rayleigh and showing the effect of time on the properties of the fluid. In this study, we used the finite volume method with quadrilateral control volumes. To solve the theoretical model, it is necessary to go through a numerical processing; for this, the equations were rendered first in conservative form. We began our discretization by adopting the notion of the staggered mesh [

We consider the two-dimensional natural convection phenomenon in a confined environment differentially heated over the centers of its vertical walls as shown in

The governing equations, the fluid flow are written in dimensionless form taking into account the hypotheses following simplifiers:

-The fluid is Newtonian, viscous and transparent.

-The regime is laminar.

-The flow is unsteady and the fluid is incompressible.

-The two-dimensional flow is in the plane (Ox, Oy).

-The physical properties of the fluid are constant, except the density in the gravitational term of the equations of motion, in which it varies linearly with

temperature according to Boussinesq’s hypotheses [

ρ = ρ 0 [ 1 − β ( T − T r ) ] (1)

We have dimensionless quantities:

X = x A , Y = y A , τ = t ( A 2 α ) , θ = T − T r T g − T d , U = u ( α A ) , V = v ( α A ) , Ψ = ψ α , ζ = ω ( α A 2 ) (2)

In the vorticity-stream function formulation, the dimensionless Navier-stokes equations are written:

∂ ζ ∂ τ − ∂ Ψ ∂ X ∂ ζ ∂ Y + ∂ Ψ ∂ Y ∂ ζ ∂ X = P r ⋅ d i v 2 ζ + R a P r ∂ θ ∂ X (3)

∂ θ ∂ τ − ∂ Ψ ∂ X ∂ θ ∂ Y + ∂ Ψ ∂ Y ∂ θ ∂ X = d i v 2 θ (4)

ζ = − d i v 2 Ψ (5)

In this study, we used the finite volume method with quadrilateral control volumes and a staggered mesh. The latter is the subdivision of the field of study into longitudinal and transverse grids whose intersection represents a node, where the variables P and θ are located while the components U and V of the velocity vector lie in the middle of the segments connecting two nodes adjacent. After discretization of the differential transport equations we obtain a system of nonlinear algebraic equations, these equations describe the discrete properties of the fluid at the nodes in the solution domain.

To examine the reliability of our computer code in Fortran 90, using the finite volume method, we compared our results with those of the literature. The results are graphically displayed and show the effect of internal heat generation. We first used a classical test of G. De Vahl Davis Benchmark [

In addition, numerical results in terms of Nusselt numbers were compared with those in the literature. We found a good agreement for a 81 × 81 mesh as shown in

The governing Equations (3)-(5) are discretized using the finite volume formulation with the central difference scheme. The region of interest is covered with m vertical and n horizontal uniformly spaced grid lines. The numerical solution is truly transient. An iterative process is employed to find the temperature and vorticity fields. The process is repeated until the following convergence criterion:

max { ∑ i , j | θ i , j n + 1 − θ i , j n | ∑ i , j | θ i , j n + 1 | , ∑ i , j | Ψ i , j n + 1 − Ψ i , j n | ∑ i , j | Ψ i , j n + 1 | } ≤ 10 − 5 (6)

In the above expression n is any time level: in the square cavity, the flow depends on the time. Unsteady laminar natural convection in a cavity with partially thermally active side walls is studied numerically (code Fortran 90). The calculation time was of the order of:

-for the mesh 41 * 41

{ 12 minutes ( R a = 1000 ) 11 minutes ( R a = 10000 ) (7)

Authors | N u local | ||
---|---|---|---|

G. De Vahl Davis [ | P. M. Gresho [ | Present Study | |

N u max | 7.717 | 7.731 | 7.804 |

Y | 0.081 | 0.0746 | 0.085 |

N u min | 0.729 | 0.7277 | 0.809 |

Y | 1 | 1.0 | 0.984 |

-and for the mesh 81 * 81

{ 57 minutes ( R a = 100000 ) 01 h 05 minutes ( R a = 1000000 ) (8)

We performed our simulations by varying the Rayleigh number.

Thermal exchanges during the flow of the fluid are characterized by the number of Nusselt. It is a dimensionless number which represents the ratio between the heat flux exchanged by convection to that by conduction. The rate of heat transfer by convection in a cavity is obtained from the calculation of the Nusselt number. We are interested in heat transfer at the heated part. The Nusselt number measures the effectiveness of convection. The convective heat transfers (local and average) on the hot active part are expressed respectively by:

N u = ∂ θ ∂ X | X = 0 (9)

{ N u ¯ = ∫ s N u d Y Withs = A / 2 isthelengthofthethermallyactivepart (10)

We note in

The local Nusselt numbers for various grid sizes are presented to develop an understanding of the grid fineness that is necessary for accurate numerical simulation. Hence considering the accuracy of the results required and computational time involved, an 41 × 41 grid size is chosen for (Ra = 1000, Ra = 10,000) and an 81 × 81 grid size is chosen for (Ra = 100,000, Ra = 1,000,000). There is a considerable change in the local Nusselt number from Ra = 1000 to Ra = 1,000,000. The Nusselt number profiles gradually decrease until reaching a minimum value. This is explained by the fact that the temperature difference between the fluid and the hot wall starts to drop, which gives a low heat flow. If Nu = 1, there is no convection and if the Nusselt increases, convection cooling is more and more effective. The relative variation of the local Nusselt number along the active left portion is illustrated in

Natural convection is a movement whose origin is a thermal imbalance. It disappears when the temperature gradients are zero. In the cavity, the flow is unsteady and therefore depends on the time. The established flow is a spatial notion while the notion of unsteady (non-permanent) flow is a temporal notion. It would be interesting to see how temperature changes over time at points on the cavity. To study the temporal behavior of the flow, we studied the temperature fluctuations at two points (A and B) located respectively on the left and right walls. These latter points are discussed below. We have chosen these points, although many more can be established, because they constantly come up in our study and, as we see it, represent the essential issues relating to heat transfer. The central parts of the vertical walls are at imposed temperatures (horizontal gradient).

Our point A is marked with a pink color (

Our point B is marked with a pink color (

Principle. In

The histogram is a graphical presentation of the distribution of a variable. In this part we have analyzed temperature graphs over time for different Rayleigh numbers. In statistics, a histogram is a type of column chart that shows the distribution of the data. They are frequently used because their standardized format makes them easily understandable and promotes communication between users, even those unfamiliar with statistical methods. Thus, we clearly see the temperature that dominates every moment in the cavity thanks to the

height of the peaks.

Histograms are useful for illustrating changes in data over a period or illustrating comparisons between elements. Each histogram is composed of adjoining columns of varying heights. The ordinate (y-vertical axis) receives the values and the abscissa (x-horizontal axis) determines categories. Columns are drawn from the x-axis to the value of the y-axis. Categories are grouped into classes or groups. As the cavity is heated differentially, temperature histograms are established for different Rayleigh numbers as shown in

-For Ra = 1000 and for Ra = 10,000: the histograms 7(a) and 7(b) show that the temperature measures have their peaks around 295 K.

-For Ra = 100,000: the histogram 7(c) shows that the temperature measures have two peaks, one around 294 K, and another higher peak around 296 K.

-For Ra = 1,000,000: the histogram 7(d) shows that the temperature measures have two peaks, one around 280 K, and another higher peak around 310 K.

Some works of natural convection in a cavity are also studying vorticity [

[

We have varied the temperature variation of the heated parts until a Rayleigh number belonging to the range of 1000 to 1,000,000 is obtained in a laminar regime. We solved the problem from the finite volume method by solving the system for Prandtl Pr = 0.72 (air). Let us note that the computation times for a finer mesh 81 * 81 (Ra = 100,000 and Ra = 1,000,000) are here equal to approximately 5 times those in case the mesh size is 41 * 41 (Ra = 1000 and Ra = 10,000). The computation times become increasingly longer with the increase of number of cells of the mesh since the solver has more values to be determined. The simulation is based on a modeling of the problem which required assumptions that simplify. Since the flow is unsteady, numerical simulations have been carried out for each Rayleigh number at different times. In

In

simulation (final time). We can observe the existence of a stagnant zone in the center of the cavity, which means that the heat exchange takes place in an intense way at the corners of the cavity (

( U , V , θ ) ( X , Y ) = − ( U , V , θ ) ( 1 − X , 1 − Y ) (11)

In the present study, we studied laminar natural convection in a two-dimensional confined environment differentially heated by numerical simulation and filled with a fluid. The geometric configuration of the physical model is a square cavity, subjected to a horizontal temperature gradient. Temperatures have been imposed on the central halves of the vertical walls, knowing that the left one is warmer than the one on the right. The inactive parts being adiabatic like the horizontal walls, fluidic movements have been created inside the cavity. Based on the Boussinesq approximations, a mathematical model describing the problem was developed. It was approached using a numerical approach, based on the finite volume method, using a code Fortran and a visualization tool ParaView.

The model developed makes it possible to determine the number of Nusselt, the fields, profiles and histograms of temperature, as well as the isovorticity contours in all the field studied. The analysis consisted in studying the influence of Rayleigh number variation and time too on temperature and vorticity fields. As the Rayleigh number increases, the heat transfer rate also increases. The results show the existence of a two-dimensional centro-symmetry. In this study, we studied the influence of certain parameters such as Rayleigh number on (Nusselt number and isovorticity contours) and also the effect of time on temperature profiles. From the set of numerical results we can conclude that: the Rayleigh number has a great influence on the dominant heat transfer mode in the cavity especially for the number Ra = 10,000 where the convective motion begins and for Ra = 1,000,000 where convection is dominant. So the heat exchange in the cavity increases with the increase of Ra. The determination of the flow field allowed us to analyze the behavior of the fluid inside the cavity. For a small number of Rayleigh, of the order of 1000, we have noticed the dominance of the mode of heat transfer by conduction. Beyond this value, convection dominates and appears more clearly for Ra = 1,000,000. We validated for each case our code based on the results of other authors. These results illustrate the importance of convective flow in many natural phenomena and industrial applications such as the development of materials, energy production and storage, solar collectors, double glazing for thermal insulation, etc.

We thank all the contributing members of SOLMATS group for everything.

We author(s) declare that we have no competing interests.

Kane, M.K., Mbow, C., Sow, M.L. and Sarr, J. (2018) Numerical Simulation of Two-Dimensional Natural Convection in a Confined Environment with the Vorticity-Stream Function Formulation. Open Journal of Fluid Dynamics, 8, 44-58. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojfd.2018.81004

A, Side of the cavity, m

max, Maximum

Nu, Nusselt number

Pr, Prandtl number

Ra, Rayleigh number

s, Length of active parts, m

t, Dimensional time, s

T, Dimensional temperature, K

Td, Dimensional temperature of right active part, K

Tg, Dimensional temperature of left active part, K

Tr, Reference temperature, K

u, Dimensional horizontal velocity, m/s

U, Dimensionless horizontal velocity

v, Dimensional vertical velocity, m/s

V, Dimensionless vertical velocity

x, Dimensional abscissa, m

X, Dimensionless abscissa

y, Dimensional ordinate, m

Y, Dimensionless ordinate

α, Thermal diffusivity, m^{2}/s

β, Coefficient of thermal expansion, 1/K

ζ, Dimensionless vorticity

θ, Dimensionless temperature

ρ, Density of fluid, kg/m^{3} τ, Dimensionless time Ψ, Dimensionless stream function ψ, Dimensional stream function, m^{2}/s ω, Dimensional vorticity, s⁻¹

i, j, Indices

local, Local value

max, Maximum value

min, Minimum value

0, Reference.

−, Average value

n, Any time level.