Onset of convection in a porous rectangular channel with external heat transfer to upper and lower fluid environments
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The conditions for the onset of convection in a horizontal rectangular channel filled with a fluid saturated porous medium are studied. The vertical sidewalls are assumed to be impermeable and adiabatic. The horizontal upper and lower boundary walls are considered as impermeable and subject to external heat transfer, modelled through a third-kind boundary condition on the temperature field. The external fluid environments above and below the channel, kept at different temperatures, provide the heating-from-below mechanism which may lead to the onset of the thermal instability in the porous medium. The linear response of the fluid saturated porous channel, in a basic motionless state, is tested with respect to three-dimensional normal mode disturbances of the temperature field and of the pressure field. The linearised disturbance equations are solved analytically leading to an implicit-form expression of the neutral stability condition, formulated as a functional relationship between the Darcy–Rayleigh number and the continuous longitudinal wave number of the normal modes, for any assigned aspect ratio of the cross-section and for any given Biot number. The analysis of the neutral stability is carried out. The analysis is extended to the case of a channel with a finite length in the longitudinal direction, and with adiabatic and impermeable capped ends.
Published version of an article in the journal: Transport in Porous Media. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11242-012-0018-9