This paper deals with the problem of heat transfer in square cavities partially filled with porous material. Local flow and energy equations are integrated in a representative elementary volume in order to obtain a set of equations valid in both the clear flow region and in the porous matrix. A unique set of equations is discretized with the control volume method and solved with the SIMPLE algorithm. Enhancement of convective currents within the porous substrate is detected as the Rayleigh number increases. Thin boundary layers along the cavity vertical walls and stratification of the thermal field are observed for Ra > 109.

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