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Conjugate natural convection in a square cavity with finite thickness horizontal walls
The effect of conduction of horizontal walls on natural convection heat transfer in a square cavity is numerically investigated. The vertical walls of the cavity are at different constant temperatures while the outer surfaces of horizontal walls are insulated. A code based on vorticity-stream function is written to solve the governing equations simultaneously over the entire computational domain. The dimensionless wall thickness of cavity is taken as 0.1. The steady state results are obtained for wide ranges of Rayleigh number (103 < Ra < 106) and thermal conductivity ratio (0 < K < 50). The variation of heat transfer rate through the cavity and horizontal walls with Rayleigh number and conductivity ratio is analyzed. It is found that although the horizontal walls do not directly reduce temperature difference between the vertical walls of cavity, they decrease heat transfer rate across the cavity particularly for high values of Rayleigh number and thermal conductivity ratio. Heatline visualization technique is a useful application for conjugate heat transfer problems as shown in this study.