Effect of Variable Thermal Expansion Coefficient and Nanofluid Properties on Steady Natural Convection in an Enclosure

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Energy Engineering and Physics, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

2 University of Calgary, Canada

3 Department of Mathematics, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


Steady state natural convection is numerically investigated in an enclosure using variable thermal conductivity, viscosity and thermal expansion coefficient of Al2O3–water nanofluid. This study has been conducted for a wide range of Rayleigh numbers (103≤ Ra ≤ 106), concentrations of nanoparticles (0% ≤ Φ ≤ 7%), enclosure aspect ratios (0.5 ≤ AR ≤ 2) and temperature differences between the cold and the hot walls (1≤ ∆T≤ 30). The main idea in this study is about the effect of temperature on natural convection pattern of nanofluid by changing nanoparticles concentration. Also, changing thermal expansion coefficient with temperature is considerd in this study which will have significant effects on natural convection and has not been considerd before. In low Rayleigh numbers (Ra= 103) and for cavities with AR≥1, the pattern shown in the average Nusselt number versus volume fraction of nanoparticles diagram deteriorates by increasing ∆T. However, for other cases, increasing ∆T has a positive effect on Nu-Φ diagram. The actual Nuselt number curve depicts that dispersing nanoparticles in base fluid deteriorate natural convection heat transfer which is in a good agreement with experimental works.


Main Subjects

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