When is natural convection completely passive?

2015-04-10T14:13:35Z (GMT) by Anthony Kay
Momentum and energy equations for vertical flow, including viscous dissipation and pressure work, are derived and shown to require that the cross-section mean density is taken as the reference density for calculation of buoyancy forces under the Boussinesq approximation. Solutions are obtained for flow between parallel plane walls, with and without the pressure work as an explicit term in the energy equation. Both walls are at the same temperature, so there is no thermal forcing, but solutions are obtained for all admissible values of dynamic pressure gradient. The passive convection condition, whereby the flow is driven entirely by buoyancy forces resulting from heat generated by the flow's own viscous dissipation, is found on one branch of the dual solutions. However, while theoretically possible, passive convection is not physically realisable with any real fluid.