Combined Free and Forced Convection in Vertical Channels of Porous Media

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In this paper we investigate the combined free and forced convection of a fully developed Newtonian fluid within a vertical channel composed of porous media when viscous dissipation effects are taken into consideration. The flow is analysed in the region of a first critical Rayleigh number in order to interpret the multiple-valued solutions and discuss their validity. The governing fourth-order, ordinary differential equation, which contains the Darcy and the viscous dissipation terms, is solved analytically using perturbation techniques and numerically using D02HBF NAG Library. A detailed investigation of the governing O.D.E. is performed on both clear fluid and porous medium for various values of the viscous dissipation parameter, ε, when the wall temperature decreases linearly with height, and the pressure gradient is both above and below its hydrostatic value. Although mathematically the results in all cases show that there are two solution branches, producing four possible solutions, the study of the velocity and buoyancy profiles together with the Darcy effect indicate that only one of the two solutions at any value of the Rayleigh number appears to be physically acceptable. It is shown that the effect of the Darcy number decreases as the critical Rayleigh numbers increase.

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