Intensified heat transfer in modulated rotating Rayleigh–Bénard convection

Bernardus J. Geurts, Rudie P.J. Kunnen

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    Heat transfer in a Rayleigh-Bénard configuration consisting of a vertical cylinder, which is rotating about its axis, can be intensified considerably when the rotation rate is modulated harmonically in time. Such time-dependent rotation introduces an Euler force into the governing equations which leads to a particular modification of the flow that is shown to support a Nusselt number (Nu) that is considerably higher than in case of constant rotation. We use direct numerical simulation of the incompressible Navier–Stokes equations to perform a comprehensive parameter study of the flow-structuring and associated heat transfer investigating primarily the effect of variations in the frequency with which the rotation rate varies. We consider flow in an upright cylinder of unit aspect ratio which is heated from below and cooled at the top. At sufficiently strong Euler forces the temporal variation of Nu shows a striking dynamics with periods of gradual increase in Nu with more rapid oscillations superimposed, next to rather catastrophic events in which the entire flow-structure that supported high levels of Nu collapses entirely and it returns to a value more similar to that attained at steady rotation. During periods of oscillatory build-up of Nu, high levels of turbulence gradually become more pronounced from the outer cylinder wall inward and a gradually stronger thermal column arises along the centreline of the cylinder. This flow structure can support Nu up to 250% larger than without rotation, a value otherwise achievable only by employing phase transition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-68
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational journal of heat and fluid flow
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


    • EWI-25029
    • Direct Numerical Simulation
    • Turbulence
    • Modulated rotation
    • Nusselt number
    • METIS-309575
    • IR-93149
    • Rayleigh–Bénard convection


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