Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Spacing between Vertical Plates on the Development of a Thermal Plume from an Active Block


Université Tunis El-Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Département de Physique, Laboratoire d’Energétique et des Transferts Thermique et Massique, El Manar 2092, Tunis, Tunisia.


In this paper, an experimental investigation was conducted to analyze the effect of spacing between vertical plates of a parallelepipedic canal on the average thermal and dynamic fields of a thermal plume. To carry out this study, we placed at the laboratory a rectangular heat block at the entry of a vertical canal open at the ends. The internal walls of the plates are heated uniformly by Joule effect and by thermal radiation emitted by active source. The heating of walls creates a thermosiphon flow which interacts with the plume inside canal. Four dimensionless spacing between the plates 1.25 ≤ e* ≤ 30 are considered. It is found that the spacing is the most important geometrical parameter affecting the thermal and dynamical behavior of the flow. Using visualization by laser plan and hot wire probe, flow structure evolves in two zones for smallest and largest spacing while a supplementary zone near heat source is observed for an intermediate spacing. The variation of flow rate and energy transported by the fluid shows the existence of an optimum spacing where the propagation of plume flow is more accelerated.