Heat transfer mechanisms in bubbly Rayleigh-Bénard convection

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The heat transfer mechanism in Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a liquid with a mean temperature close to its boiling point is studied through numerical simulations with pointlike vapor bubbles, which are allowed to grow or shrink through evaporation and condensation and which act back on the flow both thermally and mechanically. It is shown that the effect of the bubbles is strongly dependent on the ratio of the sensible heat to the latent heat as embodied in the Jakob number Ja. For very small Ja the bubbles stabilize the flow by absorbing heat in the warmer regions and releasing it in the colder regions. With an increase in Ja, the added buoyancy due to the bubble growth destabilizes the flow with respect to single-phase convection and considerably increases the Nusselt number.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026304
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • METIS-258470
  • IR-73643


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