Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 March 2020
In this paper, we report that reversals of large-scale circulation in two-dimensional Rayleigh–Bénard convection could be suppressed or enhanced by imposing local constant-temperature control on sidewalls. When the control area is away from the centre of the sidewalls, the control can successfully eliminate the flow reversal if the size of the control region is large enough. With a proper location, the width can be as small as 1 % of the system size. When the control region is located around the centre, the control may enhance the flow reversal. It may also stimulate the occurrence of a double-roll mode when the control is located in the centre. Explanations are also discussed based on the twofold effects of the control region on the nearby plumes and the concept of symmetry. The present work provides a new way to control the flow reversals in Rayleigh–Bénard convection through modifying sidewall boundary conditions.