A numerical model for the interaction between natural convection in a slot and conduction in the side walls that are parallel to the plane of the slot is described. Two-dimensional equations containing source terms which account for the viscous and thermal coupling between the fluid and the walls are solved by a finite difference method. The model neglects radiation effects. Solutions for a slot of square cross section filled with a high Prandtl number fluid and heated from below are compared with the results of a Galerkin analysis made by Frick [8] and with solutions obtained by a fully three-dimensional model. Solutions for a slot filled with air and heated from the side are also validated by comparison with three-dimensional solutions. The data produced by the model predict that the more conventional Hele Shaw analysis overestimates heat transfer when the slot aspect ratio is greater than 0.05. Perfectly conducting walls are shown to reduce the rate of heat transfer by the fluid but to increase the strength of the flow. Some effects of walls that are neither adiabatic nor perfectly conducting are assessed.

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