Experimental investigation of heat transport in homogeneous bubbly flow

Biljana Gvozdić, Elise Alméras, Varghese Mathai, Xiaojue Zhu, Dennis P.M. van Gils, Roberto Verzicco, Sander G. Huisman, Chao Sun (Corresponding Author), Detlef Lohse

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We present results on the global and local characterisation of heat transport in homogeneous bubbly flow. Experimental measurements were performed with and without the injection of 2:5 mm diameter bubbles (corresponding to bubble Reynolds number Reb 600) in a rectangular water column heated from one side and cooled from the other. The gas volume fraction was varied in the range 0 %–5 %, and the Rayleigh number RaH in the range 4:0109–1:21011. We find that the global heat transfer is enhanced up to 20 times due to bubble injection. Interestingly, for bubbly flow, for our lowest concentration D0:5% onwards, the Nusselt number Nu is nearly independent of RaH, and depends solely on the gas volume fraction . We observe the scaling Nu / 0:45, which is suggestive of a diffusive transport mechanism, as found by Alméras et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 776, 2015, pp. 458–474). Through local temperature measurements, we show that the bubbles induce a huge increase in the strength of liquid temperature fluctuations, e.g. by a factor of 200 for D 0:9 %. Further, we compare the power spectra of the temperature fluctuations for the single- and two-phase cases. In the single-phase cases, most of the spectral power of the temperature fluctuations is concentrated in the large-scale rolls/motions. However, with the injection of bubbles, we observe intense fluctuations over a wide range of scales, extending up to very high frequencies. Thus, while in the single-phase flow the thermal boundary layers control the heat transport, once the bubbles are injected, the bubble-induced liquid agitation governs the process from a very small bubble concentration onwards. Our findings demonstrate that the mixing induced by high Reynolds number bubbles (Reb 600) offers a powerful mechanism for heat transport enhancement in natural convection systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-244
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Multiphase and particle-laden flows
  • Gas/liquid flows
  • multiphase and particle-laden flows
  • gas/liquid flows


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