Experimental results are presented to show that columnar, counterrotating, vertical vortices can be produced on a heated, vertical, flat plate under free-convection conditions in air using a high-voltage d-c electric field. The vortices result from the corona discharge on 0.002-in.-dia parallel wires of alternate high voltage and ground potential placed vertically on the surface of a phenolic laminate plate. Heat-transfer rates are measured using an energy-balance method, and the thermal boundary layer is made visible using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. Experimental curves are presented to illustrate the increase in the heat-transfer rate with increase in the electric-field power. Interference photographs and frames from a motion picture show the effects of the vortices on the thermal boundary layer. The convective part of the heat transfer from the 10 × 10 in. plate is more than doubled before the electric-field power becomes as large as 5 percent of the increase in the heat-transfer rate. Local heat-transfer rates are highest at the high-voltage wires and lowest at the grounded wires.

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