Transient Numerical Analysis of Natural Convection in Partially Open Cavities Filled with Water near the Density Inversion Point


1 Federal University of Paraná, Chemical Engineering Department, 82590-300, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

2 Federal University of Santa Catarina, Chemical and Food Engineering Department, 88040-970, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

3 Pontifical University Catholic, Mechanical Engineering Department, 80215-900, Curitiba, PR, Brazil


A transient numerical analysis of natural convection of near-freezing water in a cavity with lateral openings and internal heat sources is carried out to investigate the influence of the heat dissipation rate in the flow configuration. The heat sources were positioned to create buoyancy-opposing and buoyancy-assisted conditions simultaneously and the top and bottom walls are kept at 0◦C. The non-linear dependence of the physical properties with temperature is considered in the governing equations. Based on the heat dissipation rate, six different regimes were observed and classified through a qualitative analysis of the temporal evolution of the velocity and temperature fields. The characteristics of heat transfer for each regime are analyzed to define the most important mechanisms of heat removal. In the upper layer (heated from below), the buoyancy forces eventually overcome the viscous forces and unsteady thermal plumes are formed, in-creasing the heat removal through the openings, while the heat transfer with the top wall is not significant. In the lower layer, the development of wave-like instabilities leads to oscillatory regimes for intermediate heat dissipation rates, while for high dissipation rates a steady convective regime is observed. This behavior increases the heat transfer with the bottom wall, making it much more significant when compared with the upper layer.