Numerical analysis of natural convection in a differentially heated packed bed with non-uniform wall temperature

Manu Chakkingal*, Saša Kenjereš, Iman Ataei Dadavi, M. J. Tummers, Chris R. Kleijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


We report numerical simulations of natural convection and conjugate heat transfer in a differentially heated cubical cavity packed with relatively large hydrogel beads (d/L=0.2) in a Simple Cubic Packing configuration. We study the influence of a spatially non-uniform, sinusoidally varying, wall temperature on the local flow and heat transfer, for a solid-to-fluid conductivity ratio of 1, a fluid Prandtl number of 5.4, and fluid Rayleigh numbers between 105 and 107. We present local and overall flow and heat transfer results for both sphere packed and water-only filled cavities, when subjected to variations of the wall temperature at various combinations of the amplitude and characteristic phase angle of the imposed wall temperature variations. It is found that imposing a sinusoidal spatial variation in the wall temperature may significantly alter the local flow and heat transfer, and consequently the overall heat transfer. At identical average temperature difference, applying a spatial variation in wall temperature at well-chosen phase angle can lead to significant heat transfer enhancement when compared to applying uniform wall temperatures. However, this is achieved at the cost of increased entropy generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119168
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Entropy generation
  • Local flow and heat transfer
  • Natural convection
  • Non-uniform wall temperature
  • OpenFOAM
  • Porous-media
  • Side heated cavity
  • Steady-state


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