Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Turbulent free convection above a heated plate inclined at a small angle to the horizontal

D. J.  Tritton a1
a1 Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

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An investigation has been made of the structure of the motion above a heated plate inclined at a small angle (about 10°) to the horizontal. The turbulence is considered in terms of the similarities to and differences from the motion above an exactly horizontal surface. One effect of inclination is, of course, that there is also a mean motion.

Accurate data on the mean temperature field and the intensity of the temperature fluctuations have been obtained with platinum resistance thermometers, the signals being processed electronically. More approximate information on the velocity field has been obtained with quartz fibre anemometers. These results have been supplemented qualitatively by simultaneous observations of the temperature and velocity fluctuations and also by smoke experiments.

The principal features of the flow inferred from these observations are as follows. The heat transfer and the mean temperature field are not much altered by the inclination, though small, not very systematic, variations may result from the complexities of the velocity field. This supports the view that the mean temperature field is largely governed by the large-scale motions. The temperature fluctuations show a systematic variation with distance from the lower edge and resemble those above a horizontal plate when this distance is large. The largescale motions of the turbulence start close to the lower edge, but the smaller eddies do not attain full intensity until the air has moved some distance up the plate. The mean velocity receives a sizable contribution from a ‘through-flow’ between the side-walls. Superimposed on this are developments that show that the momentum transfer processes are complex and certainly not capable of representation by any simple theory such as an eddy viscosity. On the lower part of the plate there is surprisingly large acceleration, but further up the mixing action of the small eddies has a decelerating effect.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received September 11 1962)

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