The design of vortex promoters in a heated-wall duct is often limited by the considerations of practicality, especially in complex systems such as fusion blankets. The present study investigates the use of current injection to invoke a street of vortices in quasi-two-dimensional high transverse magnetic field magnetohydrodynamic duct flows to enhance instability behind a cylinder. The intent is to generate intensive flow vorticity parallel to a magnetic field downstream of a field-aligned cylinder. Electric current enters the flow through an electrode embedded in one of the Hartmann walls, radiates outward, imparting a rotational forcing around the electrode due to the Lorentz force. The quasi-two-dimensional nature of these flows then promotes a vortical rotation across the interior of the duct with axis aligned to the magnetic field. The hot and cold walls are parallel to the magnetic field. Electric current amplitude and pulse width, excitation frequency and electrode position are systematically varied to explore their influences on the convective heat transport phenomenon. This investigation builds on a recommendation from previous work of Bühler (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 326, 1996, pp. 125–150) dedicated to understanding of the flow stability in a similar configuration. This study provides supportive evidence for the use of current injection as an alternative to the conventional mechanically actuated turbuliser, with heat transfer almost doubled for negligible additional pumping power requirements.