Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Bounds for heat transport in a porous layer

V. P.  Gupta a1p1 and D. D.  Joseph a1
a1 Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota

Article author query
gupta vp   [Google Scholar] 
joseph dd   [Google Scholar] 


Strongly nonlinear heat transport across a porous layer is studied using Howard's (1963) variational method. The analysis explores a bifurcation property of Busse's (1969) multi-a solution of this variational problem and complements the 1972 study of Busse & Joseph by further restricting the fields which are allowed to compete for the maximum heat transported a t a given temperature difference. The restriction arises, as in the case of infinite Prandtl number convection studied by Chan (1971), from letting a parameter tend to infinity from the outset; here, however, the parameter which is assumed infinitely large (the Prandtl-Darcy number) is actually seldom smaller than O(107).

The theoretical bounding heat-transport curve is computed numerically. The maximizing Nusselt number (Nu) curve is given a t first by a functional of the single-a solution; then this solution bifurcates and the Nusselt number functional is maximized for an interval of Rayleigh numbers (R) by the two-a solution. The agreement between the numerical analysis and recent experiments is striking. The theoretical heat-transport curve is found to be continuously differentiable but has piecewise discontinuous second derivatives.

The results of an asymptotic (R [rightward arrow] [infty infinity]) analysis following Chan (1971) are in qualitative agreement with the results of numerical analysis and give the asymptotic law Nu = 0.016R. This law is consistent with the result of the porous version of the well-known dimensional argument leading to the one-third power law for regular convection. The asymptotic results, however, do not appear to be in good quantitabive agreement with the numerical results.

(Published Online March 29 2006)
(Received August 17 1972)

p1 Present address: The Mitre Corporation, McLean, Virginia 22101, U.S.A.