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Turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a near-critical fluid by three-dimensional direct numerical simulation

Abstract : This paper presents state of the art three-dimensional numerical simulations of the Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a supercritical fluid. We consider a fluid slightly above its critical point in a cube-shaped cell heated from below with insulated sidewalls; the thermodynamic equilibrium of the fluid is described by the van der Waals equation of state. The acoustic filtering of the Navier-Stokes equations is revisited to account for the strong stratification of the fluid induced by its high compressibility under the effect of its own weight. The hydrodynamic stability of the fluid is briefly reviewed and we then focus on the convective regime and the transition to turbulence. Direct numerical simulations are carried out using a finite volume method for Rayleigh numbers varying from 106 up to 108. A spatiotemporal description of the flow is presented from the convection onset until the attainment of a statistically steady state of heat transfer. This description concerns mainly the identification of the vortical structures in the flow, the distribution of the Nusselt numbers on the horizontal isothermal walls, the structure of the temperature field and the global thermal balance of the cavity. We focus on the influence of the strong stratification of the fluid on the penetrability of the convective structures in the core of the cavity and on its global thermal balance. Finally, a comparison with the case of a perfect gas, at the same Rayleigh number, is presented.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 14, 2013 - 12:48:03 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 4:34:15 PM

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Gilbert Accary, Patrick Bontoux, Bernard Zappoli. Turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a near-critical fluid by three-dimensional direct numerical simulation. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2009, 619, pp.127-145. ⟨10.1017/S0022112008004175⟩. ⟨hal-00834173⟩



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