Air natural convection in a vertical channel-chimney system with the channel walls symmetrically heated at a uniform heat flux has been experimentally investigated. Flow visualization photographs and average air temperatures are presented. Some profiles of air temperature fluctuations are reported, which point out the fluid flow interactions in the chinmey. The flow visualization showed that the cold air inflow penetrating into the chimney affects the thermal performance of the channel. The improvement in the thermal performance of the channel determined by the chimney effect, for various values of the process parameters, has also been pointed out. In all investigated configurations and ranges of the process parameters the air flow in the channel was laminar. The flow in the chimney is strongly affected by the aspect ratio. Moreover, at the lower values of the expansion ratio the flow was laminar in the chimney and in its lower corner a stable vortex was noticed whereas at larger values of the expansion ratio a cold ambient air downflow worsened the thermal performance of the system. Interactions between the thermal plume arising from the channel, the vortex in the comer in the inlet chimney region and the cold air inflow yield fluctuations in the air temperature in the system. The distribution of time averaged air temperature in the cross sections validates indications given by the flow visualization in the chimney.

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