Experimental Studies of Natural Convection in Partitioned Enclosures With a Trombe Wall Geometry

[+] Author and Article Information
R. O. Warrington, T. A. Ameel

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272

J. Sol. Energy Eng 117(1), 16-21 (Feb 01, 1995) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2847709 History: Received August 01, 1989; Revised September 01, 1994; Online February 14, 2008


Natural convection heat transfer was investigated in a scaled test facility of a Trombe wall geometry. A silicone oil was employed as the convecting medium to obtain large Rayleigh numbers (up to 1.5 × 1010 , based on enclosure height) characteristic of full-scale Trombe wall in a passive solar building. The main objectives were to study effects of Trombe wall nonisothermality and location on heat transfer, fluid temperature and fluid flow patterns. As expected, Nusselt numbers were slightly larger on the Trombe wall space side than on the living space side. Nusselt numbers increased slightly as the mass transfer gaps in the Trombe wall were increased. The results were verified, for the zero gap case, by comparing with previous studies. Physical understanding of the convection process was enhanced by flow visualization data. The information obtained should be useful to designers in optimizing overall building performance for passive solar heating.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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