CUED Publications database

Thermal stratification produced by plumes and jets in enclosed spaces

Hunt, GR and Cooper, P and Linden, PF (2001) Thermal stratification produced by plumes and jets in enclosed spaces. Building and Environment, 36. pp. 871-882. ISSN 0360-1323

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The airflow and thermal stratification produced by a localised heat source located at floor level in a closed room is of considerable practical interest and is commonly referred to as a 'filling box'. In rooms with low aspect ratios H/R ≲ 1 (room height H to characteristic horizontal dimension R) the thermal plume spreads laterally on reaching the ceiling and a descending horizontal 'front' forms separating a stably stratified, warm upper region from cooler air below. The stratification is well predicted for H/R ≲ 1 by the original filling box model of Baines and Turner (J. Fluid. Mech. 37 (1968) 51). This model represents a somewhat idealised situation of a plume rising from a point source of buoyancy alone-in particular the momentum flux at the source is zero. In practical situations, real sources of heating and cooling in a ventilation system often include initial fluxes of both buoyancy and momentum, e.g. where a heating system vents warm air into a space. This paper describes laboratory experiments to determine the dependence of the 'front' formation and stratification on the source momentum and buoyancy fluxes of a single source, and on the location and relative strengths of two sources from which momentum and buoyancy fluxes were supplied separately. For a single source with a non-zero input of momentum, the rate of descent of the front is more rapid than for the case of zero source momentum flux and increases with increasing momentum input. Increasing the source momentum flux effectively increases the height of the enclosure, and leads to enhanced overturning motions and finally to complete mixing for highly momentum-driven flows. Stratified flows may be maintained by reducing the aspect ratio of the enclosure. At these low aspect ratios different long-time behaviour is observed depending on the nature of the heat input. A constant heat flux always produces a stratified interior at large times. On the other hand, a constant temperature supply ultimately produces a well-mixed space at the supply temperature. For separate sources of momentum and buoyancy, the developing stratification is shown to be strongly dependent on the separation of the sources and their relative strengths. Even at small separation distances the stratification initially exhibits horizontal inhomogeneity with localised regions of warm fluid (from the buoyancy source) and cool fluid. This inhomogeneity is less pronounced as the strength of one source is increased relative to the other. Regardless of the strengths of the sources, a constant buoyancy flux source dominates after sufficiently large times, although the strength of the momentum source determines whether the enclosure is initially well mixed (strong momentum source) or stably stratified (weak momentum source). © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Fluid Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:21
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 02:59
DOI: 10.1016/S0360-1323(01)00013-0