This paper presents a numerical study aimed at identifying a suitable turbulence model to describe the fully developed turbulent mixed convention of air in smooth horizontal pipes. The flow characteristics considered here are relevant to those typically observed in ventilated hollow core slab (VHCS) applications and, because of this, the adopted geometry and boundary conditions are represented by the Reynolds number and Richardson number of about 23,000 and 1.04, respectively. Empirical expressions available in the literature are used as reference to evaluate the accuracy of different turbulence models in predicting the dimensionless velocity (u+) and temperature (T+) profiles as well as the Nusselt number (Nu). Among the turbulence models considered, the standard and realizable k-ε models provide the best overall predictions of u+, T+, and Nu in the fully developed flow, and the former is recommended for the modeling of VHCS systems as it gives slightly better estimates of the Nu values.

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