Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 291–304 | Cite as

Adiabatic partition effect on natural convection heat transfer inside a square cavity: experimental and numerical studies

  • S. Mahmoudinezhad
  • A. Rezania
  • T. Yousefi
  • M. S. Shadloo
  • L. A. Rosendahl


A steady state and two-dimensional laminar free convection heat transfer in a partitioned cavity with horizontal adiabatic and isothermal side walls is investigated using both experimental and numerical approaches. The experiments and numerical simulations are carried out using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and a finite volume code, respectively. A horizontal and adiabatic partition, with angle of θ is adjusted such that it separates the cavity into two identical parts. Effects of this angel as well as Rayleigh number on the heat transfer from the side-heated walls are investigated in this study. The results are performed for the various Rayleigh numbers over the cavity side length, and partition angles ranging from 1.5 × 105 to 4.5 × 105, and 0° to 90°, respectively. The experimental verification of natural convective flow physics has been done by using FLUENT software. For a given adiabatic partition angle, the results show that the average Nusselt number and consequently the heat transfer enhance as the Rayleigh number increases. However, for a given Rayleigh number the maximum and the minimum heat transfer occurs at θ = 45°and θ = 90°, respectively. Two responsible mechanisms for this behavior, namely blockage ratio and partition orientation, are identified. These effects are explained by numerical velocity vectors and experimental temperatures contours. Based on the experimental data, a new correlation that fairly represents the average Nusselt number of the heated walls as functions of Rayleigh number and the angel of θ for the aforementioned ranges of data is proposed.



Gladstone–Dale coefficient (m3/kg)


Polynomial coefficients


Gravitational acceleration (m/s2)


Cavity side length (m)


Local heat transfer coefficient (W / m2. K)


Average heat transfer coefficient (W / m2. K)


Thermal conductivity of air (W/m K)


Partition length (m)


Average Nusselt number


Modified Nusselt number


Local Nusselt number on the heated wall


Pressure (Pa)


Gas constant (J/kg K)


Rayleigh number based on the cavity side length


Temperature (K)


Partition width (m)


Horizontal direction (perpendicular to the hot surface)


Vertical direction (parallel to the hot surface)

Greek symbols


Fringe shift


Laser wave length (m)


Angel of the partition (Degree)



Film condition


Reference condition (ambient condition)

Ambient condition


Hot surface


Cold surface


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Mahmoudinezhad
    • 1
  • A. Rezania
    • 1
  • T. Yousefi
    • 2
  • M. S. Shadloo
    • 3
  • L. A. Rosendahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Energy TechnologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.CORIA-UMR 6614, CNRS-University & INSA of RouenNormandie UniversitySt. Etienne du RouvrayFrance

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