Steady two-dimensional laminar free convection between isothermal vertical plates including entrance flow effects has been numerically investigated. The full elliptic forms of the Navier-Stokes and energy equations are solved using novel inlet flow boundary conditions. Results are presented for Prandtl number Pr = 0.7, Grashof number range 50 ≤ Grb ≤ 5×104, and channel aspect ratios of L/b = 10, 17, 24. New phenomena, such as inlet flow separation, have been observed. The results cast doubt on the validity of previous elliptic solutions. Comparisons with the approximate boundary-layer results show that a full elliptic solution is necessary to get accurate local quantities near the channel entrance.

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