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First Thermal and Fluids Engineering Summer Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748


Vinit V. Prabhu
Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505, USA

Ethan Languri
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38501

DOI: 10.1615/TFESC1.fnd.012749
pages 1093-1101

KEY WORDS: Natural Convection Enclosures


Buoyancy-driven flow of air inside gaps of flexible and inflexible structures leads to a higher rate of heat loss and gain during the heating and cooling seasons, respectively. Although these gaps are devised to reduce the rate of heat transfer across the layers by conduction heat transfer mode, the naturally-driven air flow due to the large temperature gradients across the gap thickness has the adverse effect of increasing the convection heat transfer rate. This could lead to a larger power usage for heating or cooling of the interior space. This numerical study investigates the role of natural convection on the heat transfer rate from the multi-zone irregular enclosures. The numerical model of such shelter's air gap is solved under several conditions during heating (winter) and cooling (summer) seasons. A SIMPLE algorithm with deferred QUICK scheme is employed. The temperature profiles, Nusselt number, streamtraces and isotherms are reported and discussed. The outcomes of this study encourages a better thermal design to the existing air gaps inside the rigid and non-rigid shelter structures with the minimal cost and added weight to reduce the heat loss/gain for significant environmental control unit's power saving.

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