International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.136, 543-554, 2019
Numerical investigation of the effect of moisture on buoyancy-driven low turbulence flow in an enclosed cavity
This paper reports a numerical investigation of low turbulence buoyancy-driven flow of moist air and heat transfer inside a rectangular cavity with differentially heated vertical walls. The variations of the flow, temperature and moisture inside the cavity has been analysed together with heat transfer coefficients for a range of mass fraction of water vapour and temperature gradients between the vertical walls of the cavity. The accuracy of the numerical methodology was also scrutinised by conducting a rigorous validation study of benchmark experimental data for the average Nusselt number for similar buoyancy driven cavity flow. The results of this investigation showed that during the natural convection process, the change in moisture content in the moist air has a significant influence on the flow and temperature fields inside the enclosure and the variation of the vertical wall temperature gradients have also shown to affect the moisture concentration inside the cavity. The percentage change in the average heat transfer varied significantly depending on the mass fraction of moisture in the air and the temperature gradient between the vertical walls. The results also showed a 3.5% increase in the average heat transfer for every 0.02 kg/kg increment in the mass fraction of water vapour. The findings from the study are significance to scientists and practitioners who are responsible for moisture management in enclosed space at the design threshold and for optimisation of energy used in buildings. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.