Flow and mixed convection heattransfer in a divergent heatedvertical channel

C. Gau, T. M. Huang, W. Aung

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21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper concerns an experimental study of the mixed convection flow and heat transfer inside a divergent channel formed by two plane walls. One of the side walls is oriented vertically and is heated uniformly, and the opposite wall is tilted at an angle of 3 deg with respect to the vertical position and is insulated. The ratio of the height to wall spacing at the flow inlet, which is at the smaller opening of the channel is 15. The Reynolds number of the main forced flow ranges from 100 to 4000 and the buoyancy parameter, Gr/Re2, varies from 0.3 to 907. Flow reversal is found to occur for both assisted and opposed convection. The effect of channel divergence on the occurrence and structure of the reversed flow and the heat transfer is presented and discussed. It is found that the divergence of the channel decelerates the mainstream such that flow reversal is initiated at a much lower buoyancy parameter. The adverse pressure gradient tends to push the reversed flow upstream and leads to a deeper penetration of the reversed flow into the channel The destabilization effect of the divergent channel can lead to breakdown of vortices and to transition to turbulent flow. This can significantly enhance the heat transfer. Temperature fluctuation measurements at different locations are used to indicate oscillations and fluctuations of the reversed flow. The effect of the buoyancy parameter on the Nusselt number and the reversed flow structure is discussed. The average Nusselt number is determined and correlated in terms of relevant nondimensional parameters for pure forced and mixed convection, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-615
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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