Natural convection in volumetrically heated rectangular enclosures is studied in this work. The walls of the enclosure are maintained isothermal. For the rectangular enclosure, two-dimensional conservation equations are solved using SIMPLE algorithm. The code is benchmarked with the results for a lid-driven cavity and a differentially heated cavity. Parametric studies are conducted to examine the effects of orientation of the cavity, fluid properties (Pr number), and aspect ratio for Rayleigh numbers up to 106. For a horizontal cavity, the flow becomes periodically oscillating at Ra = 5×104 and chaotic at Ra = 8×105. With a slight increase in the inclination angle, the oscillations die down and for inclination angles greater than 15°, the flow attain a steady state over a range of Ra. The aspect ratio AR, defined as the ratio of the height to the width of the cavity, is varied from 0.25 to 0.75 (AR < 1: wide cavities) and from 2.0 to 6.0 (AR > 1: long cavities). The values of critical Ra at which the convection sets in the cavity are presented for the range of AR studied here. The corresponding flow regimes are also identified.

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