Natural convective heat transfer from isothermal rectangular cylinders which have an exposed upper surface has been numerically studied. The cylinders considered have high aspect ratios, i.e., have high width-to-depth ratios, and are relatively short, i.e., have a “height” that is of the same order of magnitude as their width. The cylinders considered are mounted on a plane adiabatic base, the cylinders being normal to the plane base with the cylinders pointing either vertically upwards or vertically downwards. One of the main aims of the present work was to numerically determine how the depth-to-width ratio of the rectangular cylinder influences the mean heat transfer rate from the cylinder when this depth-to-width ratio is large. The flow has also been assumed to be steady and laminar and it has been assumed that the fluid properties are constant except for the density change with temperature which gives rise to the buoyancy forces, this having been treated by using the Boussinesq approach. The solution has been obtained by numerically solving the governing equations using the commercial CFD solver, ANSYS FLUENT©. The solution is dependent on the Rayleigh number, the ratio of the width to the height of the heated cylinder, the ratio of the width to the depth of the heated cylinder, the Prandtl number, Pr, and on whether the cylinder is pointing vertically upwards or vertically downwards. Because of the applications that motivated this study, results have only been obtained for a Prandtl number of 0.74, i.e., effectively the value for air. A range of the other governing parameters has been considered and the effects of these governing parameters on the Nusselt number variation have been examined.

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