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EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON NATURAL CONVECTION IN A DIFFERENTIALLY HEATED CUBIC CAVITY

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2015.IntSympAdvComputHeatTransf.590
pages 685-699

Svetlana A. Tkachenko
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, Australia

Victoria Timchenko
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia

Guan Heng Yeoh
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), PMB 1, Menai, NSW 2234, Australia

John Reizes
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW-Sydney, Sydney 2052, Australia

Sinopsis

In order to study the natural convection of humid air in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems for facades and roofs configurations, a computational model of coupled radiation and natural convective flow was developed. It was validated on the flow in a differentially heated cubic cavity containing humid air was developed and validated. The effects of varying the humidity on natural convection were studied for a steady flow at Rayleigh number of 106. The radiation calculation used the discrete ordinates method (DOM) with spectral line-based weighted sum of grey gases (SLW) method to model participating medium. The large eddy simulation was adopted on a fine grid to capture the flow features whilst radiation calculations were carried out on a coarse grid. The model was implemented in a finite-volume based in-house code. The results were validated against reference data in low temperature gradient conditions. It was shown that the inclusion of a participating medium contributed to the decrease of thermal stratification. At higher humidity levels, flow activity increased near the boundaries and the low-velocity circulation was isolated at the cavity center.

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