Natural convection in an annulus between two rotating vertical cylinders

Department of Mathematics, Bangalore University, Bengalūru, Karnataka, India
Acta Mechanica (Impact Factor: 1.27). 02/2001; 147(1):173-196. DOI: 10.1007/BF01182360

ABSTRACT A numerical study is conducted to understand the effect of rotation on the axisymmetric flow driven by buoyancy in an annular cavity formed by two concentric vertical cylinders which rotate about their axis with different angular velocities. The inner and outer side walls are maintained isothermally at temperature
, respectively, while the horizontal top and bottom walls are adiabatic. The vorticity-stream function form of the Navier-Stokes equations and the energy equation have been solved by modified Alternating Direction Implicit method and Successive Line Over Relaxation method. Numerical results are obtained for a wide range of the Grashof number, Gr, nondimensional rotational speeds
of inner and outer cylinders and for different values of the Prandtl number Pr. The effects of the aspect ratio,A, on the heat transfer and flow patterns are obtained forA=1 and 2. The numerical results show that when the outer cylinder alone is rotating and the Grashof number is moderate, the outward bound flow is confined to a thin region along the bottom surface while the return flow covers a major portion of the cavity. For a given inner or outer cylinder rotation the temperature field is almost independent of the flow in the annulus for fluids with low Prandtl number, while it depends strongly for high Prandtl number fluids. At a high Grashof number, with moderate rotational speeds, the dominant flow in the annulus is driven by thermal convection, and hence an increase in the heat transfer rate occurs. In the case of unit aspect ratio, the flow pattern is unicellular for the rotation of the cylinders in the same direction, and when they rotate in the opposite direction two or more counter rotating cells separated by a stagnation surface are formed. The rate of heat transfer at the hot cylinder is suppressed when its speed of rotation is higher than that of the cooler cylinder. The computed heat transfer and flow patterns are compared with the available results of a nonrotating cylindrical annulus, and good agreement is found.

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