Effect of polymer additives on heat transport and large-scale circulation in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection
AbstractThe present paper presents direct numerical simulations of Rayleigh-Bénard convection (RBC) in an enclosed cell filled with the polymer solution in order to investigate the viscoelastic effect on the characteristics of heat transport and large-scale circulation (LSC) of RBC. To overcome the difficulties in numerically solving a high Weissenberg number (Wi) problem of viscoelastic fluid flow with strong elastic effect, the log-conformation reformulation method was implemented. Numerical results showed that the addition of polymers reduced the heat flux and the amount of heat transfer reduction (HTR) behaves nonmonotonically, which firstly increases but then decreases with Wi. The maximum HTR reaches around 8.7% at the critical Wi. The nonmonotonic behavior of HTR as a function of Wi was then corroborated with the modifications of the period of LSC and turbulent energy as well as viscous boundary layer thickness. Finally, a standard turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget analysis was done for the whole domain, the boundary layer region, and the bulk region. It showed that the role change of elastic stress contributions to TKE is mainly responsible for this nonmonotonic behavior of HTR.