Transition in convective flows heated internally

Masato Nagata, Sotos C Generalis*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The stability of internally heated convective flows in a vertical channel under the influence of a pressure gradient and in the limit of small Prandtl number is examined numerically. In each of the cases studied the basic flow, which can have two inflection points, loses stability at the critical point identified by the corresponding linear analysis to two-dimensional states in a Hopf bifurcation. These marginal points determine the linear stability curve that identifies the minimum Grashof number (based on the strength of the homogeneous heat source), at which the two-dimensional periodic flow can bifurcate. The range of stability of the finite amplitude secondary flow is determined by its (linear) stability against three-dimensional infinitesimal disturbances. By first examining the behavior of the eigenvalues as functions of the Floquet parameters in the streamwise and spanwise directions we show that the secondary flow loses stability also in a Hopf bifurcation as the Grashof number increases, indicating that the tertiary flow is quasi-periodic. Secondly the Eckhaus marginal stability curve, that bounds the domain of stable transverse vortices towards smaller and larger wavenumbers, but does not cause a transition as the Grashof number increases, is also given for the cases studied in this work.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)635-642
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


    • channel flow
    • convection
    • heat transfer
    • shear flows
    • stability


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