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Background rotation causes different flow structures and heat transfer efficiencies in Rayleigh–Bénard convection. Three main regimes are known: rotation unaffected, rotation affected and rotation dominated. It has been shown that the transition between rotation-unaffected and rotation-affected regimes is driven by the boundary layers. However, the physics behind the transition between rotation-affected and rotation-dominated regimes are still unresolved. In this study, we employ the experimentally obtained Lagrangian velocity and acceleration statistics of neutrally buoyant immersed particles to study the rotation-affected and rotation-dominated regimes and the transition between them. We have found that the transition to the rotation-dominated regime coincides with three phenomena; suppressed vertical motions, strong penetration of vortical plumes deep into the bulk and reduced interaction of vortical plumes with their surroundings. The first two phenomena are used as confirmations for the available hypotheses on the transition to the rotation-dominated regime while the last phenomenon is a new argument to describe the regime transition. These findings allow us to better understand the rotation-dominated regime and the transition to this regime.
This experimental study focuses on the effect of horizontal boundaries with pyramid-shaped roughness elements on the heat transfer in rotating Rayleigh–Bénard convection. It is shown that the Ekman pumping mechanism, which is responsible for the heat transfer enhancement under rotation in the case of smooth top and bottom surfaces, is unaffected by the roughness as long as the Ekman layer thickness
is significantly larger than the roughness height
. As the rotation rate increases, and thus
decreases, the roughness elements penetrate the radially inward flow in the interior of the Ekman boundary layer that feeds the columnar Ekman vortices. This perturbation generates additional thermal disturbances which are found to increase the heat transfer efficiency even further. However, when
, the Ekman boundary layer is strongly perturbed by the roughness elements and the Ekman pumping mechanism is suppressed. The results suggest that the Ekman pumping is re-established for
as the faces of the pyramidal roughness elements then act locally as a sloping boundary on which an Ekman layer can be formed.
When the classical Rayleigh–Bénard (RB) system is rotated about its vertical axis roughly three regimes can be identified. In regime I (weak rotation) the large-scale circulation (LSC) is the dominant feature of the flow. In regime II (moderate rotation) the LSC is replaced by vertically aligned vortices. Regime III (strong rotation) is characterized by suppression of the vertical velocity fluctuations. Using results from experiments and direct numerical simulations of RB convection for a cell with a diameter-to-height aspect ratio equal to one at () and we identified the characteristics of the azimuthal temperature profiles at the sidewall in the different regimes. In regime I the azimuthal wall temperature profile shows a cosine shape and a vertical temperature gradient due to plumes that travel with the LSC close to the sidewall. In regimes II and III this cosine profile disappears, but the vertical wall temperature gradient is still observed. It turns out that the vertical wall temperature gradient in regimes II and III has a different origin than that observed in regime I. It is caused by boundary layer dynamics characteristic for rotating flows, which drives a secondary flow that transports hot fluid up the sidewall in the lower part of the container and cold fluid downwards along the sidewall in the top part.
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