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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Richard J. Goldstein, Associate Fellow

Numerical Simulation of Thermal Convection at High Rayleigh Numbers

These researchers are interested in Rayleigh-Benard convection, which involves a horizontal layer of fluid heated from below and cooled from above. The researchers have done experimental work on this convection with constant wall temperature as the boundary condition. They are now validating this experimental data using the CFD software package FLUENT. Temperature variation along the confined geometry will be obtained from numerical results which will be used to calculate Nusselt number as a function of Rayleigh number. In order to extend the understanding of Rayleigh-Benard convection, another experiment will take place with uniform wall heat flux as the boundary condition. Results of this experiment will also be compared with the computational results obtained through CFD simulations. Once numerical data is validated with experiments, numerical datasets will be created for the geometrical cases that were not experimentally studied. Since all the numerical work will require turbulence modeling, FLUENT will be used for the simulations.

Group Members

Federico Fassio, Visiting Researcher
Sangjo Han, Graduate Student
Willard Hanson, Graduate Student
Daniel Keene, Graduate Student
Yuli Kornblum, Collaborator
Kaustubh Kulkarni, Graduate Student
Rajat Mittal, Graduate Student
Marco Papa, Graduate Student
Francesco Papa, Collaborator
Vinod Srinivasan, Graduate Student
Rishabh Rajkumar Srivastava, Graduate Student
Matthew E. Stinson, Graduate Student
Suofang Wang, Visiting Researcher