Theoretical and experimental study of natural convection with surface thermal radiation in a side open cavity

M. Montiel-González, J. F. Hinojosa, H. I. Villafán-Vidales, A. Bautista-Orozco, C. A. Estrada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this work a theoretical and experimental study of heat transfer by natural convection and thermal radiation on a solar open cubic cavity-type receiver is presented. The theoretical study consists on solving the laminar natural convection and the surface thermal radiation on a square open cavity at one end. The overall continuity, momentum, and energy equations in primitive variables are solved numerically by using the finite-volume method and the SIMPLEC algorithm. The thermophysical properties of the fluid are considered, for the first case, as temperature dependent in all the governing equations, and for the second case, constant, except for the density at the buoyancy term (Boussinesq approximation), with the purpose of comparing the results of both theoretical models with experimentally obtained results. Numerical calculations are conducted for Rayleigh number (Ra) values in the range of 104-106. The temperature difference between the hot wall and the bulk fluid (ΔT) is varied between 10 and 400 K, and is represented as a dimensionless temperature difference (φ) for the purpose of generalization of the trends observed. Experimental results include air temperature measurements inside the receiver. These results are compared with theoretically obtained air temperatures, and the average deviation between both results is around 3.0%, when using the model with variable thermophysical properties, and is around 5.4% when using the Boussinesq approximation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1186
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Experimental validation
  • Natural convection
  • Open cavity receiver
  • Solar energy
  • Solar receiver
  • Surface thermal radiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical and experimental study of natural convection with surface thermal radiation in a side open cavity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this