The effects of eccentricity on the natural convection heat transfer from a vertical open-ended cylindrical annulus with diameter ratio of 1.63 and aspect ratio of 18:1 have been investigated experimentally. Within the range of present conditions, and with the possible exclusion of the highest eccentricities, it was found that the flow was thermally fully developed in a considerable section of the apparatus, as indicated by the linear variation of wall temperature with height. This made it possible to estimate the mass flow rate from the wall temperature gradient in the mid-section of the annulus, and use it to calculate the bulk Reynolds number, which was found to be weakly sensitive to eccentricity for a constant wall heat flux and to increase with increased wall heat flux. With the exception of the very low eccentricity range in which it was insensitive to eccentricity, the overall heat transfer rate diminished monotonically with increasing eccentricity. Plots of the local azimuthal variation of the Nusselt number showed that, at low eccentricities, the heat transfer rate increased near the wider gap but decreased near the narrower gap. The average Nusselt number was found to decrease measurably with increasing eccentricity and to increase slightly with increasing heat flux within the examined range. In contrast, the Grashof number was found to be much more sensitive to changes in heat flux and only had a weak dependence on eccentricity.

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