Validation study on forced and mixed convection in the rotatable buoyancy tunnel

Blake W. Lance, Jeff R. Harris, Jared M. Iverson, Robert E. Spall, Richard W. Johnson, Barton L. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Rotatable Buoyancy Tunnel (RoBuT) at Utah State University, built for validation measurements incorporating a high level of data completeness, is described along with the results from validation data sets for forced and mixed convection. One wall of the tunnel test section is heated while the other three are transparent for optical access. All boundary conditions, including geometry, wall temperature and inflow temperature and velocity, are measured and their uncertainties are reported. The tunnel's design is unique in that the test section can be inverted by rotating the entire facility to generate mixed convection with either buoyancy aided or buoyancy opposed flow. The RoBuT can also produce forced or natural convection, either steady or transient. Measurements for forced and buoyancy-aided mixed convection over a vertical heated plate are described. The RoBuT allows for simultaneous measurements of velocity, wall and inlet air temperature, heat flux measurements on the heated wall, and pressure drop across the test section. The fluid velocity is measured by time-averaged particle image velocimetry (PIV). The first validation case is forced convection since this flow is well understood. Both forced and mixed convection results are compared to published correlations and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies. The CFD is steady and 3-D using as-built measurements of the geometry. Experimental wall and inlet temperatures are used for CFD boundary conditions, as well as the inlet velocity and turbulence profiles. Three research groups perform simulations with varying levels of knowledge of the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2013 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting, FEDSM 2013
StatePublished - 2013
EventASME 2013 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting, FEDSM 2013 - Incline Village, NV, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2013Jul 11 2013

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fluids Engineering Division (Publication) FEDSM
Volume1 A
ISSN (Print)0888-8116


OtherASME 2013 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting, FEDSM 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIncline Village, NV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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