In the subject geometry, a long thin plate at uniform temperature is contained coaxially and symmetrically in a long semicircular trough closed at the top and having a uniform but different temperature. Heat flows across the air-filled region between the two by both natural convection and gaseous conduction. The problem of characterizing the free convective component of this heat transfer—that is, the component caused by bulk fluid motion—is treated experimentally by using a heat balance technique, with the measurements being repeated at different pressures, in order to cover a wide Rayleigh number range, from Ra ≈ 10 to Ra ≈ 108. Nusselt number versus Rayleigh number plots are presented for each of several combinations of plate-to-trough spacing and tilt angle, and the plots are correlated by equations. The problem of characterizing the conductive component is treated by numerically solving the steady diffusion equation in the air-filled region, and the results are correlated as a function of the spacing and the plate thickness.

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