The effect of a partition on the laminar natural convection flow in an air-filled square cavity driven by a temperature difference across the vertical walls was investigated experimentally. Two partitions with non-dimensional heights of 0.0625 and 0.125 was attached either to the upper half of the heated vertical wall or the top wall at different locations. The experiments were performed for a global Grashof number of approximately 1.24×108 and non-dimensional top wall temperatures of approximately 0.48 to 2.28. At the higher top wall temperatures, a secondary flow circulation region formed between the partition attached to the top wall and the heated vertical wall of the cavity. This secondary flow circulation region was sensitive to the location and height of the partition, in addition to the top wall temperature of the cavity. The secondary flow circulation region moved the location where the upward boundary layer flow along the heated vertical wall turned over to be further away from the top wall, than in the cavity without the partition. A thermal boundary layer was observed to move along the rear surface of the partition attached to the top wall. In the region close to the top wall, the partitions caused the non-dimensional temperature outside of the boundary layer and the local Nusselt number along the heated vertical wall to be different from that in the cavity without the partition. There were no significant effects of the partition on the flow and heat transfer characteristics in the lower half of the cavity.

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