Heat transfer by natural convection in a horizontal cavity with adiabatic horizontal walls and isothermal side walls is investigated numerically for high aspect ratios (width/height). Comparison is made with existing analytical and experimental results. Agreement is generally good at moderate and high Prandtl numbers to which most previous works have been restricted. Improvements of the existing correlation have been proposed in regions of discrepancy. Extension to the low Prandtl number case, including the range of liquid metals, has been made on the basis of an analytical model for high Rayleigh numbers as well as by numerical solution of the full equations. The agreement between the two is found to be very good. A correlation for the heat transfer is proposed for each of the two different cases of high and low Prandtl number.

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