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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2012.CHT-12.740
pages 1223-1246

Draco Aluya Iyi
Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering Faculty of Engineering and Environnent Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK

Reaz Hasan
Mechanical and Construction Engineering Department, Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Roger Penlington
Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering Faculty of Engineering and Environnent Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK


The work reported here is a 2D numerical study on the buoyancy-driven low speed flow of humid air inside a rectangular cavity partially filled with solid cylindrical objects and whose vertical walls are maintained at 1.2 and 21 °C. This is a case of double diffusion where both temperature and concentration gradients are significant. Detailed calculations were carried out and results compared with reliable data, with the aim of investigating the influence of surface emissivity on heat and moisture transport. The Rayleigh number of the fluid mixture (air and water vapour) based on the height of the vertical wall is found to be 1.45 × 109.
In the computations, turbulent fluxes of the momentum, heat and mass were modelled by low-Re (Launder-Sharma) k − ε eddy viscosity model. The effect of radiation has been found to be significant even for the moderate temperature difference of 19.8 °C between the hot and the cold walls with the humid air participating in the radiation heat transfer. Variations of average Nusselt number and buoyancy flux are analysed and profiles of turbulent quantities are studied in order to observe the net effect of the intensity of turbulence. It has been found that a change in surface emissivity influences the humidity distribution and heat transfer within the cavity. It was also observed that during natural convection process the air/water vapour combination results in an increase in the heat transfer as compared to pure natural convection. An increase in heat transfer is observed using thermo-physical materials of higher surface emissivity. It can thus be implied that with the appropriate choice of components, the fluid flow, heat and mass transfer due to natural convection can be increased passively.

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