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On the Features of Thermal Convection in a Compressible Gas

Igor B. Palymskiy1,2,*

1 Physics Department, Siberian State University of Telecommunications and Information Sciences, Novosibirsk City, 630102, Russia
2 Physics Department, Siberian State University of Geosystems and Technologies, Novosibirsk City, 630108, Russia

* Corresponding Author: Igor B. Palymskiy. Email: email

(This article belongs to the Special Issue: Advanced Problems in Fluid Mechanics)

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2024, 20(5), 957-974.


The fully nonlinear equations of gas dynamics are solved in the framework of a numerical approach in order to study the stability of the steady mode of Rayleigh-Bénard convection in compressible, viscous and heat-conducting gases encapsulated in containers with no-slip boundaries and isothermal top and bottom walls. An initial linear temperature profile is assumed. A map of the possible convective modes is presented assuming the height of the region and the value of the temperature gradient as influential parameters. For a relatively small height, isobaric convection is found to take place, which is taken over by an adiabatic mode when the height exceeds the critical value, or by a super-adiabatic mode in case of a relatively high temperature gradient. In the adiabatic mode, convective flow develops due to adiabatic processes given a stable initial stratification. An analytic formula for the critical height of the region is derived taking into account and neglecting the dependence of the gas viscosity on the temperature. Moreover, an analytic formula is obtained for the upper boundary of the region of applicability of the Boussinesq approximation for incompressible gases. These models for compressible gases are relevant to practical situations such as the study of convective flows in spatially extended gas mixtures when dealing with safety issues related to hydrocarbons stored in gas stations. A dangerous situation arises when the tank is almost empty but some hydrocarbon is left at the bottom of the tank. In the presence of convective flows, the vaporized fuel is mixed with the oxidizer (air) forming a gas-vapor medium. However, if the volumetric concentration of fuel vapor (hydrocarbon) is in the interval between the lower and upper concentration limits of ignition, then the gas-vapor mixture becomes explosive and any accidental spark is sufficient to cause an emergency.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Palymskiy, I.B. (2024). On the features of thermal convection in a compressible gas. Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 20(5), 957-974.
Vancouver Style
Palymskiy IB. On the features of thermal convection in a compressible gas. Fluid Dyn Mater Proc. 2024;20(5):957-974
IEEE Style
I.B. Palymskiy, "On the Features of Thermal Convection in a Compressible Gas," Fluid Dyn. Mater. Proc., vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 957-974. 2024.

cc 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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