A COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS OF NATURAL CONVECTION IN A VERTICAL CHANNEL WITH A MODIFIED POWER LAW NON-NEWTONIAN FLUID
An implicit finite difference method was applied to analyze laminar natural convection in a vertical channel with a modified power law fluid. This fluid model was chosen because it describes the viscous properties of a pseudoplastic fluid over the entire shear rate range likely to be found in natural convection flows since it covers the shear rate range from Newtonian through transition to simple power law behavior. In addition, a dimensionless similarity parameter is identified which specifies in which of the three regions a particular system is operating.
The results for the average channel velocity and average Nusselt number in the asymptotic Newtonian and power law regions are compared with numerical data in the literature. Also, graphical results are presented for the velocity and temperature fields and entrance lengths. The results of average channel velocity and Nusselt number are given in the three regions including developing and fully developed flows.
As an example, a pseudoplastic fluid (carboxymethyl cellulose) was chosen to compare the different results of average channel velocity and Nusselt number between a modified power law fluid and the conventional power law model. The results show, depending upon the operating conditions, that if the correct model is not used, gross errors can result.