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Confined inclined thermal convection in low-Prandtl-number fluids

  • Lukas Zwirner (a1) and Olga Shishkina (a1)


Any tilt of a Rayleigh–Bénard convection cell against gravity changes the global flow structure inside the cell, which leads to a change of the heat and momentum transport. Especially sensitive to the inclination angle is the heat transport in low-Prandtl-number fluids and confined geometries. The purpose of the present work is to investigate the global flow structure and its influence on the global heat transport in inclined convection in a cylindrical container of diameter-to-height aspect ratio $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6E4}=1/5$ . The study is based on direct numerical simulations where two different Prandtl numbers $Pr=0.1$ and 1.0 are considered, while the Rayleigh number, $Ra$ , ranges from $10^{6}$ to $10^{9}$ . For each combination of $Ra$ and $Pr$ , the inclination angle is varied between 0 and $\unicode[STIX]{x03C0}/2$ . An optimal inclination angle of the convection cell, which provides the maximal global heat transport, is determined. For inclined convection we observe the formation of two system-sized plume columns, a hot and a cold one, that impinge on the opposite boundary layers. These are related to a strong increase in the heat transport.


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Zwirner and Shishkina supplementary movie 1
Isosurfaces of the temperature for Pr=1, Ra=10^8 and β/π=0.

 Video (2.8 MB)
2.8 MB

Zwirner and Shishkina supplementary movie 2
Isosurfaces of the temperature and streamlines for Pr=1, Ra=10^8 and β/π=0.15.

 Video (36.0 MB)
36.0 MB


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