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CONVECTION

PHYSICAL MECHANISM OF CONVECTION

Conduction and convection both
require the presence of a material
medium but convection requires
fluid motion.
Convection involves fluid motion as
well as heat conduction.
Heat transfer through a solid is
always by conduction.
Heat transfer through a fluid is by
convection in the presence of bulk
fluid motion and by conduction in
the absence of it.
Therefore, conduction in a fluid can
be viewed as the limiting case of
convection, corresponding to the
case of quiescent fluid.
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The fluid motion enhances heat transfer, since it brings warmer and
cooler chunks of fluid into contact, initiating higher rates of conduction
at a greater number of sites in a fluid.
The rate of heat transfer through a fluid is much higher by convection
than it is by conduction.
In fact, the higher the fluid velocity, the higher the rate of heat transfer.

Heat transfer through a

fluid sandwiched between
two parallel plates.

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Convection heat transfer strongly depends on the fluid properties
dynamic viscosity, thermal conductivity, density, and specific heat, as
well as the fluid velocity. It also depends on the geometry and the
roughness of the solid surface, in addition to the type of fluid flow (such
as being streamlined or turbulent).

Newton’s
law of
cooling

Convection heat transfer coefficient, h: The rate of heat

transfer between a solid surface and a fluid per unit surface
area per unit temperature difference.
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No-slip condition: A fluid in direct contact with a solid “sticks” to the surface
due to viscous effects, and there is no slip.
Boundary layer: The flow region adjacent to the wall in which the viscous
effects (and thus the velocity gradients) are significant.
The fluid property responsible for the no-slip condition and the development
of the boundary layer is viscosity.

A fluid flowing over a stationary surface

comes to a complete stop at the surface
because of the no-slip condition.

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An implication of the no-slip condition is that heat transfer from the solid
surface to the fluid layer adjacent to the surface is by pure conduction,
since the fluid layer is motionless, and can be expressed as

The determination of the convection heat transfer coefficient

when the temperature distribution within the fluid is known

The convection heat transfer coefficient, in general, varies along the flow
(or x-) direction. The average or mean convection heat transfer coefficient
for a surface in such cases is determined by properly averaging the local
convection heat transfer coefficients over the entire surface area As or
length L as

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Nusselt Number
In convection studies, it is common practice to nondimensionalize the governing
equations and combine the variables, which group together into dimensionless
numbers in order to reduce the number of total variables.
Nusselt number: Dimensionless convection heat transfer coefficient

Lc characteristic length

The Nusselt number represents the

enhancement of heat transfer through
a fluid layer as a result of convection
relative to conduction across the same
fluid layer.
The larger the Nusselt number, the
more effective the convection.
A Nusselt number of Nu = 1 for a fluid
Heat transfer through a fluid layer layer represents heat transfer across
of thickness L and temperature the layer by pure conduction.
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difference T.
VELOCITY BOUNDARY LAYER
Velocity boundary layer: The region of the flow above
the plate bounded by  in which the effects of the viscous
shearing forces caused by fluid viscosity are felt.
The boundary layer thickness, , is typically defined as the
distance y from the surface at which u = 0.99V.
The hypothetical line of u = 0.99V divides the flow over a
plate into two regions:
Boundary layer region: The viscous effects and the
velocity changes are significant.
Irrotational flow region: The frictional effects are
negligible and the velocity remains essentially constant.

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Wall Shear Stress Shear stress: Friction force per unit area.
The shear stress for most fluids is
proportional to the velocity gradient, and
the shear stress at the wall surface is
expressed as

 dynamic viscosity
kg/ms or Ns/m2 or Pas
1 poise = 0.1 Pa  s
The fluids that obey the linear relationship
above are called Newtonian Fluids.
Most common fluids such as water, air,
gasoline, and oils are Newtonian fluids.
Blood and liquid plastics are examples of
non-Newtonian fluids. In this text we
consider Newtonian fluids only.

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Kinematic viscosity,
m2/s or stoke
1 stoke = 1 cm2/s = 0.0001 m2/s

The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its resistance to deformation,

and it is a strong function of temperature.

Wall shear stress:

Cf friction coefficient or
skin friction coefficient

The friction coefficient is an important parameter in heat

transfer studies since it is directly related to the heat transfer
coefficient and the power requirements of the pump or fan.

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THERMAL BOUNDARY LAYER
A thermal boundary layer develops when a fluid at a specified temperature
flows over a surface that is at a different temperature.
Thermal boundary layer: The flow region over the surface in which the
temperature variation in the direction normal to the surface is significant.
The thickness of the thermal boundary layer t at any location along the
surface is defined as the distance from the surface at which the temperature
difference T − Ts equals 0.99(T− Ts).
The thickness of the thermal
boundary layer increases in the
flow direction, since the effects
of heat transfer are felt at
greater distances from the
surface further down stream.
The shape of the temperature
profile in the thermal boundary
layer dictates the convection
heat transfer between a solid
surface and the fluid flowing
over it.
Thermal boundary layer on a flat plate (the
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fluid is hotter than the plate surface).
Prandtl Number
The relative thickness of the velocity and the thermal boundary layers
is best described by the dimensionless parameter Prandtl number

The Prandtl numbers of gases are

about 1, which indicates that both
momentum and heat dissipate
through the fluid at about the same
rate.
Heat diffuses very quickly in liquid
metals (Pr << 1) and very slowly in
oils (Pr >> 1) relative to momentum.
Consequently the thermal boundary
layer is much thicker for liquid metals
and much thinner for oils relative to
the velocity boundary layer.

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LAMINAR AND Laminar flow is encountered when
highly viscous fluids such as oils flow
TURBULENT FLOWS in small pipes or narrow passages.

Laminar: Smooth
streamlines and highly
ordered motion.
Turbulent: Velocity
fluctuations and highly
disordered motion.
Transition: The flow
fluctuates between
laminar and turbulent
flows.
Most flows encountered in
practice are turbulent.

The behavior of
colored fluid
Laminar and injected into the
turbulent flow flow in laminar
regimes of and turbulent
candle smoke. flows in a pipe. 13
Reynolds Number At large Reynolds numbers, the inertial
The transition from laminar to turbulent forces, which are proportional to the
flow depends on the geometry, surface fluid density and the square of the fluid
roughness, flow velocity, surface velocity, are large relative to the viscous
temperature, and type of fluid. forces, and thus the viscous forces
cannot prevent the random and rapid
The flow regime depends mainly on the fluctuations of the fluid (turbulent).
ratio of inertia forces to viscous forces
At small or moderate Reynolds
(Reynolds number).
numbers, the viscous forces are large
enough to suppress these fluctuations
and to keep the fluid “in line” (laminar).

Critical Reynolds number, Recr:

The Reynolds number at which the
flow becomes turbulent.
The value of the critical Reynolds
number is different for different
geometries and flow conditions.

The Reynolds number can be

viewed as the ratio of inertial
forces to viscous forces
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acting on a fluid element.
DERIVATION OF DIFFERENTIAL
CONVECTION EQUATIONS

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The Continuity Equation

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The Momentum Equations

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Conservation of Energy Equation

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Tubes and Pipes
• Pipe ─ circular cross section.
• Duct ─ noncircular cross section.
• Tubes ─ small-diameter pipes.
• The fluid velocity changes from zero at the
surface (no-slip) to a maximum at the pipe
center.
• It is convenient to work with an
average velocity, which remains
constant in incompressible flow
when the cross-sectional area
Average Velocity

• The value of the average velocity is determined

from the conservation of mass principle
m  Vavg AC   u  r  dAC
Ac
(8-1)

• For incompressible flow in a circular pipe of

 u  r  dA
C

R
u  r  2 rdr 2
R
Vavg    2  u  r  rdr
Ac 0
 AC  R 2 R 0
(8-2)
Average Temperature
• It is convenient to define the value of the mean
temperature Tm from the conservation of energy
principle.
• The energy transported by the fluid through a
cross section in actual flow must be equal to the
energy that would be transported through the
same cross section if the fluid were at a constant
temperature Tm

E fluid  mc pTm   c pT  r   m    c T  r  u  r VdA

p c (8-3)
m Ac
• For incompressible flow in a circular pipe of radius R

 c T  r   m  c T  r  u  r  2 rdr
p p

Tm  
m Ac

mc p Vavg  R 2  c p (8-4)
R
2
2     
 T r u r rdr
Vavg R 0
• The mean temperature Tm of a fluid changes
during heating or cooling.

Idealized Actual
Laminar and Turbulent Flow in Tubes
• For flow in a circular tube, the Reynolds number
is defined as
Vavg D Vavg D (8-5)
Re  
 
• For flow through noncircular tubes D is replaced
by the hydraulic diameter Dh.
4 Ac
Dh  (8-6)
P

• laminar flow: Re<2300

• fully turbulent: Re>10,000.
The Entrance Region
• Consider a fluid entering a circular pipe at a
uniform velocity.
• Because of the no-slip condition a velocity
gradient develops along the pipe.
• The flow in a pipe is divided into two regions:
– the boundary layer region, and
– the and the irrotational (core) flow region.
• The thickness of this
boundary layer Irrotational Boundary
layer
increases in the flow flow
direction until it
reaches the pipe
center.
• Hydrodynamic entrance region ─ the region from the
pipe inlet to the point at which the boundary layer merges
at the centerline.
• Hydrodynamically fully developed region ─ the region
beyond the entrance region in which the velocity profile is
fully developed and remains unchanged.
• The velocity profile in the fully developed region is
 parabolic in laminar flow, and
 somewhat flatter or fuller in turbulent flow.
Thermal Entrance Region
• Consider a fluid at a uniform temperature entering a circular tube
whose surface is maintained at a different temperature.
• Thermal boundary layer along the tube is developing.
• The thickness of this boundary layer increases in the flow direction
until the boundary layer reaches the tube center.
• Thermal entrance region.
• Thermally fully developed region ─ the region beyond the
thermal entrance region in which the dimensionless temperature
profile expressed as
(Ts-T)/(Ts-Tm)
remains unchanged.
Entry Lengths
Laminar flow
Hydrodynamic
Lh ,laminar  0.05 Re D (8-11)

Thermal
Lt ,laminar  0.05 Re Pr D  Pr Lh,laminar (8-12)

Turbulent flow
L
Hydrodynamic
h,turbulent  1.359 D  Re14
(8-13)

Lh ,turbulent  Lt ,turbulent  10 D (8-14)

Thermal (approximate)
Pressure Drop
• One implication from Eq. 8-37 is that the pressure
drop gradient (dP/dx) must be constant (the left
side is a function only of r, and the right side is a
function only of x).
• Integrating from x=x1 where the pressure is P1 to
x=x1=L where the pressure is P2 gives

dP P2  P1
 (8-43)
dx L
• Substituting Eq. 8–43 into the Vavg expression in
Eq. 8–40
8 LVavg 32 LVavg
P  P1  P2  2
 2 (8-44)
R D
• A pressure drop due to viscous effects
represents an irreversible pressure loss.
• It is convenient to express the pressure loss for
all types of fully developed internal flows in
terms of the dynamic pressure and the friction
dynamic pressure
factor
friction factor
L V 2
(8-45)
PL   
avg
f
D 2

• Setting Eqs. 8–44 and 8–45 equal to each other

and solving for f gives
 Circular tube, laminar: 64 64
f  
 DVavg Re (8-46)
Heat Transfer

numbers:

Average Nusselt number:

Film temperature:

Average friction
coefficient:

coefficient:

The heat transfer rate:

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PARALLEL FLOW OVER FLAT PLATES
The transition from laminar to turbulent flow depends on the surface geometry,
surface roughness, upstream velocity, surface temperature, and the type of fluid,
among other things, and is best characterized by the Reynolds number.
The Reynolds number at a distance x from the leading edge of a flat plate is
expressed as

A generally accepted value for

the Critical Reynold number

The actual value of the engineering

critical Reynolds number for a flat plate
may vary somewhat from 105 to 3  106,
depending on the surface roughness, the
turbulence level, and the variation of
pressure along the surface.
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