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International Review on Modelling and Simulations (I.RE.MO.S.), Vol. 6, N. 1
ISSN 1974-9821 February 2013

Numerical Simulation of Compressible Thermo-Buoyant Flow

in a Partially Opened Enclosure with Localized Heater from Below

S. Ben Mabrouk1, H. Ben Ahmed1,2

Abstract – We present two numerical models for the study of unsteady two-dimensional flow of
air subjected to a heat source in a cell divided into two areas of different size by a vertical lintel.
The heat source placed on the floor of the enclosure produces hot gases for a finite time. First
numerical model based on solving the equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy,
uses an implicit scheme in time and a finite difference hybrid space. The injection of hot gas in the
two areas led to the abandonment of the Boussinesq hypothesis. This model also takes into
account variations in the physical properties of the fluid. The second model is a finite element
approach which gave more detailed results, thanks to the high density of the mesh node and the
incorporation of the boundary conditions in the general equations of the problem. Dynamically,
the results are very significant in terms of the flow direction, circulation areas and creation of
vortices. The results for two simple cases of a cell partitioned allowed us to know the
characteristics of the flow adjacent to the heat source and through the two compartments of the
enclosure. Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved.

Keywords: Convection, Flow Structure, Finite Elements, Numerical Simulation, Thermal Plume

Nomenclature Thermal conductivity of air (Wm-1K-1)

µ Dynamic viscosity of the air (Pa s)
a Thermal diffusivity of the air (m²s-1) generic function (variables u, v)
Af Aspect ratios (-) Density of the air (kgm-3)
Cp Constant pressure specific heat (J/kg K) q Global heat flux (Wm-²)
g Acceleration gravity (ms-2) Qcov Heat flux exchanged by convection (Wm-²)
H Height of the enclosure (m) Qrad Heat flux exchanged by radiation (Wm-²)
L Length of the enclosure (m) t Heating time step (s or min)
Nu Nusselt number T Temperature difference T=Tc-Th (K)
Pr Prandtl number (-)
Ra Rayleigh number (-)
Re Reynolds number (-) I. Introduction
t Time of the system (s)
t* Dimensionless time (-) Natural convection flows appear in many technical
T Local temperature (K) applications, like cooling of electronic components,
Tc , T h Temperature of the hot and cold walls, (K) climate conditioning of rooms and solar collectors. Bases
T0 Initial uniform temperature of the system, (K) on this matter, numerous studies have been performed to
T* Dimensionless temperature (-) probe free convection subjects experimentally and
u, v Flow velocity components in x and y directions, numerically [1]-[2]. Tasaka and Takeda presented a
respectively (ms-1) numerical study of the effects of a heat source
u*,v* Dimensionless flow velocity components in x distribution on natural convection by internal heating [3].
and y directions, respectively (-) They also performed a linear stability to investigate the
V Flow velocity (ms-1) influence of the heat source on critical Rayleigh number
x, y Cartesian coordinates and critical wave-number. Sharma et al. [4] carried out
x*, y* Dimensionless coordinates (m) many studies of turbulent natural convection in square
cavity with localized heating from below. They used
Greek symbols Boussinesq approximation to determine the buoyancy
force and developed a correlation to predict the heat
Volumetric expansion coefficient of the air (K-1)
transfer rates as function of dimensionless heated width
of the bottom wall and the value of Rayleigh number
ch Thermal conductivity of walls (Wm-1 K-1)
using least square linear regression analysis. Other
studies [5] analyzed the influence of radiative heat

Manuscript received and revised January 2013, accepted February 2013 Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

transfer on natural convection in square cavity. They compressible and incompressible free-convection heat
considered various Rayleigh numbers and optical transfer in opened rectangular enclosures with localized
thicknesses, and concluded that even under normal room heating from below under high temperature gradient.
condition with a low temperature difference, the As mentioned before because the Boussinesq
radiation has major effect on the heat transfer rate and approximation may not be valid in this condition, the
temperature and flow fields in the cavity. non-Boussinesq algorithm has been used to determine
Within a framework similar to our study, a large the uid compressibility and the buoyancy force. In this
number of works is in hand interesting the confined and method, the uid properties are dependent on
semi-confined convective flows and also non stationary temperature and the Sutherland's law has been used for
compressible flows with numerical approaches. this purpose.
By way of indication, Kaviany [2], Le Quéré et all. The parameters, power of the heat source, Rayleigh
[6], Lauréat [7] and Bennacer et all. [8] are particularly number and Reynolds number are varied to explore some
interested on convective flows in confined and semi- interesting results. Then in a next stage, the results of
confined spaces. Moreover, the differentially-heated compressible flow and incompressible ow have been
cavity is subject of great number of interesting problems, compared and discussed.
especially when we can release simple and useful
conclusions and interpretations [8]. Because the
enclosure flow consists of different high Rayleigh II. Problem Formulation
number structures, several more-or-less fundamental We consider a Newtonian fluid in an enclosure with
physical instability mechanisms are possible. The most height H and width L. The vertical y-axis has its positive
unstable one with the lowest critical Rayleigh number direction opposite to that of gravity g. In the horizontal
depends on the aspect ratio and on the type of boundary direction, x –axis is the lateral coordinate. The schematic
conditions of the heated enclosures [9]. Benchmark diagram of a simplified model is shown in Fig. 1.
results up to Ra = 106 were provided by De Vahl Davis The depth of the enclosure perpendicular to the plane
and Jones [10], and up to Ra =108 by Le Quéré [11]. of the diagram is assumed to be long. Hence, the
In all the studies mentioned above, the Boussinesq problem can be considered to be two-dimensional. The
approximation has been used to determine the buoyancy top wall and the unheated parts of the bottom wall are
force. This estimation causes a restricted clause: the insulated, while the left vertical side wall is maintained at
temperature difference between hot and cold sources a low temperature of TC and the heated portion of the
should not be high, so this assumption restricts the bottom wall are kept isothermal at a high temperature of
application of Boussinesq approximation to the domains TH .
with low temperature gradients. But in practical On the bottom of the enclosure, a heat source Qrad is
situations in science and industry, there might be placed at a distance measured from the left vertical wall.
domains with considerable temperature gradient between Heat fluxes q may create an airflow motion. The
hot and cold zones; hence the Boussinesq estimation may temperature difference is assumed to be sufficiently
not be valid with these conditions. small for the weakly turbulent approximation to hold.
So, in the past years, several researchers have The fluid flow inside the enclosure can be described
employed some non-Boussinesq estimations to study by the dimensionless equations of conservation of the
high thermo-buoyant ows [12]. Darbandi and mass, the momentum and the energy balances [17].
Hosseinizadeh [13] applied a novel non-Boussinesq
numerical algorithm to survey the free-convection inside
a square cavity with high temperature gradient. They III. Governing Equations
considered various temperature gradients to generate The following mathematical study is performed to
different low to high thermo-buoyant elds and determine the dynamic structure and thermal layer of air
developed an analogy to solve low-Mach number set in motion by buoyancy forces in an elongated opened
compressible ow on staggered grid arrangement. Based enclosure containing a heat source.
on this analogy, the basic SIMPLE incompressible The setting in motion of the fluid is produced by local
methodology was generalized for solving either variations in the density due to relatively large
incompressible or compressible ows [14]. temperature differences. Pressure gradients are of the
They also showed that their formulations provide same order of magnitude as the volume forces
more reliable solutions than those of previous works (buoyancy), and the equations must be solved in a
[15]. coupled manner. The system of equations governing the
Our study relates to the natural convection in an flow is written using conservation laws of fluid
opened rectangular enclosure and thermally trained. mechanics.
Then, we investigate the heat transfer enhancement Assuming two-dimensional flow and adopting the
through the enclosure and evaluate the transitional flow coordinate system shown in Fig. 1, these equations can
pattern under an enclosure with thermally isolated walls be written in the following general form:
[16]. The aim of this study is to simulate numerically the

Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved International Review on Modelling and Simulations, Vol. 6, N. 1

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

uu uv fluid is at rest, the pressure fields and density should

0 (1) verify the equation of hydrostatic:
t x y
u uu uv og 0 (6)
t x y
P u u Substitution of the Eq. (6) to the momentum Eq. (3)
x x x y y gives:

v uv vv P Po
v uv vv
t x y y
t x y (7)
(3) v v
P v v g o Sv
g Sv x x y y
y x x y y

where (P-Po) is the motive pressure of the system and ( -

Cp T Cp u T Cp v T
o) the difference in local density relative hydrostatic
t x y breaks. The dynamic viscosity µ, the density , the
(4) thermal conductivity and the specific heat Cp at
ST constant pressure are a priori according to temperature
x x y y
and pressure.
In this case, it is possible to use the equation of state
The source terms are defined as: of ideal gas to among other things, eliminate the pressure
Eqs. (2) and (3). However, the numerical treatment of the
u v resulting equations is rather difficult and integration is
Su subjected to severe stability criteria since this system of
x x y x
equations is one that allows, in particular, describing the
u v (5) propagation of sound waves [18].
x y y y
ST Qrad III.1. Simplifying Assumptions
In the case of an open cell and for low temperature
The term energy source Qrad is the radiative fluxes
differences ( T / To << 1), the relative variations in
emitted by the heat source and the walls.
pressure are less than 10-3 and can be neglected.
Interactions depend on the radiative emissivity local
This is justified if the characteristic velocity of the
gradients intrinsic temperature and concentrations of
fluid V is in the order of 1m/s; (as when this fluid
characteristic velocity is negligible compared to the
In the following, the global heat flux Q = Qrad +Qcov is
speed of sound).
considered as a given problem, its value is the radiation
flux and convection emission in the enclosure. When the

Fig. 1. The Schematic representation of the heated open-cavity and coordinate system

Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved International Review on Modelling and Simulations, Vol. 6, N. 1

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

For these flows, the physical properties of the fluid are u v

generally considered independent of pressure. In this 0
x y
case, the following relations are used as state equations:
u 1
u u u P 0
1 0 ,73 t
x, y,t T x, y,t T (12)
v 1
o To o To v v v P g T T0
(8) t
0 ,83 0 ,05
x, y,t T C p x, y,t T T T T
u v a T q
o To C po To t x y

The system of compressible equations will be closed Here t is the time, u and v are the velocity components
using the state equation of the perfect gas law, which in the x and y directions respectively, T is the
relates the real thermo-dynamic pressure to the density temperature, P is the pressure, is the density, is the
and temperature elds: coefficient of thermal expansion, is the kinematic
viscosity, is the thermal diffusivity and q is the heat
p RT (9) flux. These equations are made dimensionless with the
choice of the length scale, the convective time scale and
However, for high values of the source terms Q, or in the temperature scale [16].
the case of closed-cell with adiabatic walls, we used the However, in the present study the choice of the
relationship proposed by Rehm and Baum [19], which scaling is not important, as we will always specify the
allows to take into account variations in (x, y, t) with the characteristic numbers. The dimensionless solution
temperature and pressure without introducing acoustic depends on only the Rayleigh number
phenomena: 3 2
( Ra g TH Pr/ ), the Reynolds number
( Re VL / ), the Prandtl number (Pr= / ), the aspect
x, y,t (10) ratio (Af = H/L) and the heat flux q. Only air into a
RT x, y,t heated cavity will be considered here (Pr = 0.71).
To reduce the complexity of the problem with finite
element modelling, we can neglect the terms of viscous
is an average pressure. To consider the temperature dissipation and variation of pressure in the equation of
dependent properties of the air as a compressible gas, energy for flows at low velocities.
Sutherland's law has been used. Without loss of generality, the physical properties of
According to Sutherland's law, the viscosity the fluid can also be considered independent of the
coefficient µ and the thermal conductivity are pressure [18]. If the dimensionless temperature
determined from: difference is sufficiently large, the flow structure is
characterized by thin boundary layers along the walls
T0 C T Cp and by a core region which is highly transitional or
T 0 ; T T (11) weakly turbulent. For these powerful thermal sources,
T C T0 Pr
the equations used to treat the weakly turbulent flow are
those of the classic ( - ) turbulent model [20].
C is a constant and µ0 the dynamic viscosity at T0.
Our study is directed towards the realization of two
numerical models making it possible to solve the III.2. Initial and Boundary Conditions
equations of two-dimensional viscous compressible fluid
The boundary conditions are those of adherence and
flow subjected to a variable heat source. Treated by two
impermeability for the velocity components and the
different way, we were able to clear behaviour of fluid in
Neumann conditions for the temperature (Fig. 2). On the
the laminar case and in the transition toward the
solid walls such as AB, AD, DC and EF, dynamic
boundary conditions are those of impermeability and
The system of Eqs., (1) to (10), including the initial
adhesion. These walls are also considered perfectly
and boundaries conditions, with specific simplifying
assumptions is used in the case of classical finite volume
On the free boundary, such as windows and doors, the
modelling (FVM).
conditions must allow a free flow of fluid through the
Moreover, the finite element approach (FEM) needs a
specific formulation describing the physical process in a opening. For enclosures ratios of Af 1, the works of
simple manner and permitting the establishment of the Chan et al. [6] suggest that the internal flow is sensitive
matrixes. After introduction of the reference variables, to the effects of the opening. One of the techniques
one of these formulations can be written as the below adopted to address this free boundary is the use of an
system (12): enlarged area.

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S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

However, for enclosures elongated with Af 0.5 algebraic equations [14]. The used system of equations
some studies propose to take as the fictive wall, the plane and the boundary conditions that represent the physical
of the opening. On the level of the free border of the situation are described in [17] and [23].
enclosure (open side), we have fluid-flow patterns with The calculation stops when all the maximum residues
two directions: returning at the ambient temperature of mass momentum and energy are less than 5x10-7.
Tinp= T0 in the low part and outgoing on the level of the For the second system (12), specific formulations
high part (Fig. 2). The relative pressure is taken as a null have been solved with Finite Element Method (FEM),
value in the plane of this free border. using a discretisation of Petro-Galerkin linked with finite
The co-ordinate Yo, where the relative pressure and difference scheme for transient terms. The FEM scheme
the velocity components are taken as zero will have to be is an improved finite-element method for heat and mass
specified. transfer, and for fluid flow using equal-order velocity-
In our case, the wall is the fictitious plane passing pressure interpolation. The finite element calculation
through BC (Fig. 2), where the pressure field is known gives high accuracy in results, because of high density
and the velocity components can be positive or negative. meshing (14600 nodes) and boundary conditions
The dynamic boundary conditions chosen are such treatment.
that the derivative of the velocity component normal to The numerical resolution led us to study the variation
the plane BC is zero. of initial and boundary conditions, to follow the
The temperature imposed at the bottom of this border displacement of the hot air layers for given aero-thermal
is that of the environment Tinp. At the top where the flow conditions, to appreciate the influence of several
is exiting, the derivative of the normal temperature at the parameters governing transfer phenomena and finally to
free surface is zero (as for an important convective flow). carry out a comparative study with those established by
These boundary conditions require the definition of other authors.
coordinates of the point of zero quantity of motion Yo;
this limit separates the outflow of the returning flow.
V. Results and Discussions
The dimensionless forms of the boundary conditions
are indicated below in Fig. 2. We used two different numerical approaches to the
same problem, a finite volume model programmed in
Fortran, and another finite element model programmed
IV. Computation Details with a CFD- Flotran code (on Flotran CFD). Figs. 3 and
The governing equations can be formulated via the 4 present an example of results for the open enclosure
Finite Volume Method (FVM) using a formulation of the without separation.
equations in primitive variables (u, v, P, T). The finite volume numerical (FVM) results show that
The convective term was approximated by the the air movement is influenced by significant variations
classical second-order upwind scheme, and the diffusive of the temperature near the heat source. In the zone
used the central difference scheme, provided that the neighbouring to the heat source, a free phenomenon of
geometric conservation law was satisfied [17]. convection is remarkable. The temperature and velocity
For finite volume method (FVM), the scheme is perturbations are plotted for different time steps and heat
implicitly stable. The domain of integration consists of a source powers.
grid of points around which is constructed the control As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, some fluid leaves the
domain. In our case, we have considered a staggered grid vertical boundary layer and travels through the core to
system of the interior space of the compartment, in order the horizontal upper layer near the open side. This causes
to simplify the formulation of convective terms and a recirculation in horizontal planes of the core region.
pressure and we have used 41 nodes in the x-direction Similar travelling perturbations were found in the
and 21 nodes in the y-direction. The SIMPLE algorithm supercritical two-dimensional cases [4] – [18].
is then employed to solve the resulting simultaneous

Fig. 2. The physical model of heated open-cavity with boundary conditions

Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved International Review on Modelling and Simulations, Vol. 6, N. 1

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

The results obtained by the FEM model are shown in

Figs. 6, 7 and 8. Differences between the FVM (Figs. 3,
4 and 5) and FEM solutions are detected by comparison
of the time-averaged solutions and by comparison of the
characteristic time scales as found in the autocorrelation
of the velocity fields at different monitoring points. The
finite element approach gave detailed results due to the
high density mesh size node, and the incorporation of the
boundary conditions in the general equations of the
Dynamically, the results are highly significant in
terms of flow direction, circulation zones, and creation of
Fig. 3. Distribution of velocity vector for the open enclosure without vortices and renewal of air. This model also allowed us
separation, obtained with the FVM model. to treat a case of weak turbulence for high values of the
Af = 0.33 =1/3 ; t = 20s ; Q = 100W/m2 power of the heat source. We were able to express
graphically the density, viscosity, and the turbulent
kinetic energy using powerful graphic software. So, this
simulation seems realistic.
The qualitative aspect of the results is very
satisfactory. However, we have not made direct
comparisons of the calculated values of velocity,
pressure and temperature with reliable experimental data.
Nevertheless, the orders of magnitude of calculated and
simulated values are comparable to values usually found
in similar real problems. Therefore, the comparison with
experimental results well is necessary.
An animation of the perturbations in the (x, y)-plane
revealed that the perturbations are travelling in a
clockwise direction through the core region and the
horizontal boundary layers. These perturbations
Fig. 4. Distribution of velocity vector for the open enclosure introduce a secondary recirculation flow that is located at
without separation, obtained with the FVM model. the corner region and extends along upper layers.
Af = 0.33 =1/3 ; t = 50s ; Q = 100W/m2 Fig. 6 provides us with the appearance of the pressure,
and the values of the motive pressure in the cavity. We
In Fig. 5 is represented all of the velocity vectors in note that the motive pressure is maximal near the heat
the study area of the opened rectangular enclosures with source.
localized heating from below. We note the presence of The value of the pressure decreases going away from
different amplitudes distributed according to space. The the source, and this regardless of the direction. The
velocity varies from zero on the walls up to 0.15 m/s temperature variation shown on Fig. 7 is similar to that
inside the enclosure. So, we distinguish four zones: of the pressure, since they are proportional. One can
Zone 1: This is the area where velocities arise, an notice the existence of almost isothermal concentric
accelerating region since it is directly above the heat surfaces.
source. The temperature variation for one color is such that its
Zone 2: The air deflects the rigid separation as an maximum value in its first limit, close to the heat source,
impermeable wall is in its left side. (268 °C at the center of the black color and 240 °C in
Zone 3: Pushed by the hot air that arrives from the contact with the navy blue).
left, a portion of the fluid is forced out of the cavity by Fig. 8 shows the amplitude of the velocity vectors for
its open top. a heating power of 1000W/m2 during 100s.The flow
Zone 4: The incoming air has a temperature lower evolves in the same way as the previous cases. The flow
than that in the cavity. It is in the lower limit of the open is characterized by a left shift of the effect of convection.
portion of the cavity. The law of conservation of mass is Fig. 9 represents the velocity at equilibrium, whose
verified by noticing a change of air. maximum value is 0.57 m/s (significantly less than the
Thus, all the effects in the cavity, leads us to the speed of sound). Although the flow that we have just
velocity profile at the opening. A top area whose described is compressible, we have no remarkable
direction is positive corresponding to a hot out coming acoustic effects. This is a low-flow Mach number.
flow, and another whose direction is negative The new air coming from the free bound, drives left
corresponding to a returning cold air. This profile is the convective flow upper the heat source. Augmentation
similar almost everywhere at the opening plane. of heat source energy-value makes velocity increase.

Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved International Review on Modelling and Simulations, Vol. 6, N. 1

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

Zone 2 Zone 3

Zone 1 Zone 4

Fig. 5. Distribution of the velocity vectors obtained by using the FVM model
Af = 0.33 =1/3 ; t = 100s ; Q = 50 W/m2

P= 1.052 bar P= 1.0094 bar

P= 1.0095 bar

P= 1.0150 bar P= 1.004 bar

P= 1.0160 bar

P= 1.0205 bar
P= 1.000 bar
P= 1.0213 bar

Fig. 6. Pressure field and isobars lines for a heating power of 1000 W/m2 during 100s. Results obtained by using the FEM model

268 240 191 125 100 85 65 50 45 25°C

Fig. 7. Temperature field obtained by using the FEM model, for Af =1/3 ; t = 100s and heat power Q = 1000 W/m2

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S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

Therefore with a power-source value equal to 1000 density, and new values of pressure, velocity and
W/m2, Reynolds number exceeds 2500, the turbulent temperature (Figs. 9, 10 and 11). The (k- ) model is
transition will appear. So that, a standard (k- ) model is useful for low Reynolds numbers and efficient far from
used for evaluating turbulent kinetic energy, dissipation boundaries [20] - [23]. These figures present examples of
of turbulent kinetic energy, effective viscosity, effective results where legend values are in SI.

Fig. 8. Distribution of the velocity vectors obtained by using the FVM model. Af =1/3 ; t = 100s ; Heat source power Q = 1000 W/m2

Fig. 9. Velocity Vectors and isoclines at equilibrium - Heat source power = 1000 W/m2. Results obtained by using the (k- ) model

Fig. 10. Instantaneous Velocity fluctuations obtained by using the (k- ) model. Af =1/3 ; t = 50s ; Q = 1000 W/m2

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S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

Fig. 11. Evolution of the turbulent kinetic energy at equilibrium ( t =1000s), Af =1/3 ; Q =1000 W/m2

In general, the results are very significant and velocity components and their perturbed velocity field
interesting; the use of two methods helped to improve the respectively.
critical simulation. Indeed, we have shown numerically Evaluation of the non-linear two-dimensional
the communication with the outside of the cavity, solutions reveals that the total of energy source consists
creating turbulence in the corners and behind the of shear and buoyancy for the heated adiabatic or
separation. Similarly, we noticed the existence of an conducting enclosures [23].
intermediate zone which is a physical barrier between the The shear is largest in the core region and near the left
hot flow out of the top, and cold flow returning from the vertical boundary layer (Fig. 5, zones 1 and 2). The
bottom. buoyancy is largest in part of the horizontal boundary
This work does not simulate a fire compartment in its layers and in the upper part of the vertical open side
real size, as in the case of an accidental fire power source (zone 3). In the downstream part of the vertical open
is very large, and turbulence phenomena are much more side, the buoyancy is negative, and it thus decreases the
complex. Nevertheless, it can be described as a first step kinetic energy in the right lower zone (zone 4). This
toward the study of this problem, it describes perfectly indicates that these dimensional instabilities have a
the case of convective motions generated by combined hydrodynamic and thermal nature.
conventional sources of heat (solar floor heating, radiator
on the floor, industrial boiler ...).
VI. Conclusion
V.1. Physical Origin of the Instabilities Our study is directed towards the realization of two
numerical models making it possible to solve the
For a conducting enclosure, the first two-dimensional equations of two-dimensional viscous compressible fluid
instability is related to the Rayleigh-Benard instability in flow subjected to a variable heat source. Two models
an unstable stratified environment. Arguments for this take account of the variations of the fluid physical
were given by Janssen & Henkes [18] and by Le Quéré properties. The temperature and velocity perturbations
[10] for a square enclosure with differentially heated are plotted at the first instances for different planes in the
vertical walls. The first instability in this enclosure was heated cavity and at the equilibrium. The simulated
probably due to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the solutions obtained by both models are in agreement with
detached boundary layer. later studies. Finite element method (FEM) program
With respect to the two-dimensional structure and provided acceptable results for the velocity field,
stability for adiabatic enclosures, Oztop et all. [24] and temperature and pressure. The orders of magnitude of
Ravi, Henkes & Hoogendoorn [25] have shown that the values of the variables P, T, and V provided by this
instability in the corner is due to a thermal mechanism. program are also satisfactory.
The nature of physical instabilities found in the
present study can be judged from the type of energy
contained in the three-dimensional spatial structures. For References
the two-dimensional instabilities, the physical nature was [1] S. Ostrach, Natural convection in enclosures. ASME J. Heat
indicated in earlier studies [23]. Transfer, vol. 110, pp: 1175 – 1190; 1988.
From the Navier-Stokes equations, we can consider [2] M. Kaviany, Principles of Convective Heat Transfer. Springer
Verlag Edn., New York, 2001.
the generic variables (x, y, t) with ( ) and . [3] Y. Tasaka, Y. Takeda, Effects of heat source distribution on
natural convection induced by internal heating, International
In what follows, the quantities (x, y, t) denote the Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer; ( 48), 1164 – 1174. 2005.

Copyright © 2013 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved International Review on Modelling and Simulations, Vol. 6, N. 1

S. Ben Mabrouk, H. Ben Ahmed

[4] A.K. Sharma, K. Velusamya, C. Balaji, Turbulent natural [25] M. R. Ravi, R. A. W. M. Henkes, C. J. Hoogendoorn – On the
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International Journal of Thermal Sciences, (46) 1232–1241. convection flow in a square enclosure. J. Fluid Mech. 262, pp.
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[5] A. Bairi, J.M. Garcia de Maria, N. Laraqi, Transient natural
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wall. Experiemental and numerical study applied to on-board Acknowledgements
electronics, Applied Thermal Energeeing, Vol 30, pp.1115-1125,
2010. This study was supported by the Research Program of
[6] P. Le Quéré, Étude de la transition à l’instationnarité des
écoulements de convection naturelle en cavité verticale
Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research
differentiellement chauffée par méthodes spectrales Tchebychev. (Tunisian_ CRTEn _Projects).
Thèse de Doctorat d’Etat; Université de Poitiers, LES/CNRS –
France, 1987.
[7] G. Lauriat, Contribution à la modélisation et à la simulation Authors’ information
numérique de l’interaction entre la convection naturelle et le
rayonnement thermique. Thèse de Doctorat d’Etat. Université de Laboratory for Energy and Thermal Processes, C.R.T.En. Centre for
Paris VI. France, 1983. Research and Technologies of Energy, Po. Box 95, 2050 Hammam-
[8] R. Bennacer, L.Y. Sun, Y. Toguyeni, D. Gobin - Int. J. Heat Mass Life. Tunis. Tunisia.
Transfer, 36(13), 3329 - 3342, 1985. 2
[9] R. F. Bergholz – Instability of steady natural convection in a Faculté des Sciences de Tunis (F.S.T.); - Department of Physics
vertical fluid layer. Journal Fluid Mech. 81 – 88, 1978. Campus Universities El Manar I, 1060 Tunis. Tunisia.
[10] G. de Vahl Davis, Natural convection of air in a square cavity: A
benchmark numerical solution. Int. J. Num. Meth. Fluids, 3, pp. S. Ben Mabrouk (Corresponding author) was
249–264. 1983. born in Mahdia (Tunisia) in 1954. He received
[11] P. Le Quéré., Accurate solutions to the square thermally driven his Master Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
cavity at high Rayleigh number. Computer and Fluids. 20, pp: 01- and Dynamic Flow at The University of Nancy
21. 1990. (France) since 1981; his Ph.D. Thesis in
[12] E.Sourtiji, S.F. Hosseinizadeh, M.Gorji-Bandpy, Numerical Mechanical Engineering and Thermal Buildings
simulation of compressible high gradient thermobuoyant flow in from the University of Poitiers (France) since
square enclosures with localized heating from below, 1984, and Doctorate Degrees Thesis in Sciences
International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer vol Physics (These d’Etat Es- Sciences Physics) at the Faculty of Sciences
39, pp. 987-994. 2012. of Tunis (FST-Tunisia). He is currently a Professor in Physics and
[13] M. Darbandi, S.F. Hosseinizadeh, Numerical study of natural Mechanical Engineering in the University of Tunis and Coordinator of
convection in vertical enclosures using a novel non-Boussinesq national projects concerning the Solar Drying Processes and Renewable
algorithm. Numerical Heat Transfer. Part A, 52, 849 – 873. 2007. Energy Survey in the Energetic and Thermal Processes Laboratory at
[14] S.V. Patankar - Numerical heat transfer and fluid flow, the Research and Technology Centre of Energy. Prof. S. Ben Mabrouk
Hemisphere Pub. Corp. 1981. has published several papers in International Journals and he’s a
[15] S. Singh, M.A.R. Sharif, Mixed convective cooling of a member of Tunisian Physical Society (STP-Tunisia).
rectangular cavity with inlet and exit openings on differentially E-mail:
heated side walls. Numerical Heat Transfer Part A: Applications,
44, 233–253. 2003. H. Ben Ahmed was born in Bizerte (Tunisia). He obtained his
[16] S. Ben Mabrouk, B. Khiari and H. Ben Ahmed., Simulation engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering at the National School
numérique de la dispersion des fumées dans une cellule of Engineering of Tunis (ENIT) and received the master Diploma in
partionnée. Journée Int Thermique JITH 03, 2003, pp : 125-132. Engineering and Thermal Processes from the Faculty of Sciences Tunis
[17] S. Ben Mabrouk, Etude numérique tridimensionnelle de la (F.S.T.) and the Centre for Research and Technologies of Energy
convection naturelle en cavité cubique. Thèse de Spécialité, (CRTEn.) in 2004. Then; he left to prepare Doctorate Degrees at the
Université de Poitiers LES /CNRS– France; 1984. University of Cergy-Pontoise (France- 2008).
[18] R. J. A. Janssen, R. A. W. M. Henkes – The first instability
mechanism in differentially heated cavities with conducting
horizontal walls. Trans. ASME J. Heat Transfer, 117, pp: 626 –
633, 1995.
[19] R. G. Rehm and H. R. Baum – J. Res. Nat. Bur. Stand. , 83(3), pp:
297- 308, 1978.
[20] M. F. El-Amin, S. Sun, H. Kanayama, Non-Boussinesq turbulent
buoyant jet of a low-density gas leaks into high-density ambient.
Applied Mathematics and Computation, 217, 3764 – 3778. 2010.
[21] S. Saravanan. C. Sivaraj, Natural convection in an enclosure with
a localized nonuniform heat source on the bottom wall.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol 54, pp.
2820- 2828, 2011.
[22] M. Tabarki, S. Ben Mabrouk, Numerical modeling of heat and
mass transfer phenomena in heated enclosures. (2012)
International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 6 (2),
pp. 291 - 301.
[23] R. A. W. M. Henkes, P. Le Quéré – Tree-dimensional transition of
natural-convection flows. J. Fluid Mech. 319, pp. 281 – 303.
[24] H.F. Oztop, K. Al-Salem, Y. Varol, I. Pop, Natural convection
heat transfer in a partially opened cavity lled with porous media,
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer,Vol. 54, pp:
2253–2261, 2011.

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