Effect of plumes on measuring the large scale circulation in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection

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Stevens, Richard J.A.M. and Clercx, Herman J.H. and Lohse, Detlef (2011) Effect of plumes on measuring the large scale circulation in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection. Physics of Fluids , 23 (9). 095110. ISSN 1070-6631

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Abstract:We studied the properties of the large-scale circulation (LSC) in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard (RB) convection by using results from direct numerical simulations in which we placed a large number of numerical probes close to the sidewall. The LSC orientation is determined by either a cosine or a polynomial fit to the azimuthal temperature or azimuthal vertical velocity profile measured with the probes. We study the LSC in Γ = D/L = 1/2 and Γ = 1 samples, where D is the diameter and L is the height. For Pr = 6.4 in an aspect ratio Γ = 1 sample at Ra = 1 × 108 and 5 × 108, the obtained LSC orientation is the same, irrespective of whether the data of only 8 or all 64 probes per horizontal plane are considered. In a Γ = 1/2 sample with Pr = 0.7 at Ra = 1 × 108, the influence of plumes on the azimuthal temperature and azimuthal vertical velocity profiles is stronger. Due to passing plumes and/or the corner flow, the apparent LSC orientation obtained using a cosine fit can result in a misinterpretation of the character of the large-scale flow. We introduce the relative LSC strength, which we define as the ratio between the energy in the first Fourier mode and the energy in all modes that can be determined from the azimuthal temperature and azimuthal vertical velocity profiles, to further quantify the large-scale flow. For Ra = 1 × 108, we find that this relative LSC strength is significantly lower in a Γ = 1/2 sample than in a Γ = 1 sample, reflecting that the LSC is much more pronounced in a Γ = 1 sample than in a Γ = 1/2 sample. The determination of the relative LSC strength can be applied directly to available experimental data to study high Rayleigh number thermal convection and rotating RB convection
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2011 American Institute of Physics
Faculty:
Science and Technology (TNW)
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/78772
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3620999
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