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Numerical Solution of 2D Natural Convection in a Concentric Annulus with Solid-Liquid Phase Change

R. Avila1, F.J. Solorio1

Departamento de Termofluidos, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico D.F. C.P. 04510. E-mail: and

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2009, 44(2), 177-202.


Heat transfer processes involving phase change either, solidification or melting, appear frequently in nature and in industrial applications. In this paper the convective patterns that arise from a 2D shear driven annular flow (without and with melting), are presented. The convective annular flow with radial gravity can be considered as a simplified model of the atmospheric flow in the terrestrial equatorial plane (bounded by the warm surface of the Earth and the cold tropopause). The governing equations have been numerically solved by the Spectral Element Method. The numerical results reported in this paper, for the cases without melting (at two different radius ratioh=ri/ro) are in qualitative agreement with analytical results and experimental data obtained elsewhere for 2D annular electroconvection systems. For the cases with melting, the material between the two concentric circles (with radius ratioh=0.35) is initially solid. The melting process takes place from the internal circle with temperature Th, where This greater than the melting temperature Tm. The heat transfer rate at the internal circle and the convective flow patterns have been obtained for the cases without shear and with shear. The Couette shear is induced by a constant rotation of the internal circle. As the phase change process takes place, three parameters of the system depend on the fluid layer depth: the Rayleigh number, the Reynolds number and the radius ratio of the annular fluid layer. We found that as the fluid layer depth increases, different flow patterns appear. We discuss the critical azimuthal mode number and its relationship with the Nusselt number.


Cite This Article

Avila, R., Solorio, F. (2009). Numerical Solution of 2D Natural Convection in a Concentric Annulus with Solid-Liquid Phase Change. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 44(2), 177–202.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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