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Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer
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ISSN Imprimir: 1065-5131
ISSN En Línea: 1026-5511

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Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer

DOI: 10.1615/JEnhHeatTransf.v15.i1.40
pages 51-64

Effect of Boundary on the Onset of Rayleigh-Bénard Convection in a Horizontal PCM Slurry Layer

Wei Li
Department of Energy Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Aero-Engine, Zhejiang University, 38 Zhe Da Rd. Xihu District, Hangzhou 310027, China
Chuanshan Dai
Key Laboratory of Efficient Utilization of Low and Medium Grade Energy, School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, 300072 Tianjin, China
Lu-Biao Yang
College of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, P. R. China

SINOPSIS

The natural convection heat transfer in a horizontal phase-change-material (PCM) slurry layer between two plates, with the outer surface exposed to constant temperature boundary condition, has been studied. The critical Rayleigh number for the onset of Rayleigh−Bénard convection in the slurry, with various boundary conditions, was calculated by using the linear stability theory. The PCM slurry investigated undergoes a process of phase changing and during this process the apparent specific heat of the slurry has a maximum value. The optimum heat convection mode with the boundary effect was also predicted. A Gaussian function model was adopted for simulating the change of the apparent specific heat with temperature. The theoretical results show an agreement with previous experimental studies where the maximum or enhanced heat transfer status was achieved. In experiments, the correlation of the Nusselt number, Nu, to the Rayleigh number, Ra, indicates that the mathematical average temperature is no longer able to be recognized as the characteristic temperature for calculating the apparent specific heat. The proposed integral average and the supercriticality (Ra/Racr) methods have less standard deviation in the correlation between the experimental data of Nu with Ra.


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