Turbulent natural convection scaling in a vertical channel

C.S. Ng*, D. Chung, A. Ooi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Using direct numerical simulation (DNS) data, this study appraises existing scaling laws in literature for turbulent natural convection of air in a differentially heated vertical channel. The present data is validated using past DNS studies, and covers a range of Rayleigh number, Ra between 5.4 × 105 and 2.0 × 107. We then appraise and compare the various scaling laws proposed by Versteegh and Nieuwstadt, 1999, Hölling and Herwig, 2005, Shiri and George, 2008, George and Capp, 1979 with the profiles of the mean temperature defect, mean streamwise velocity, normal velocity fluctuations, temperature fluctuations and Reynolds shear stress. Based on the arguments of an inner (near-wall) and outer (channel centre) region, the data is found to support a minus one-third power law for the mean temperature in an overlap region. Using the inner and outer temperature profiles, an implicit heat transfer equation is obtained and we show that a correction term is non-negligible for the present Ra range when compared with explicit equations found in literature. In addition, we determined that the mean streamwise velocity and normal velocity fluctuations collapse in the inner region when using the outer velocity scale. We also find that the temperature fluctuations scale in inner coordinates, in contrast to the outer scaling behaviour reported in the past. Lastly, we show evidence of an incipient proportional relationship between friction velocity, uτ, and the outer velocity scale, uo, with increasing Ra.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-562
JournalInternational journal of heat and fluid flow
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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