An experimental investigation was conducted to study the effects of wall temperature modulation in a horizontal fluid layer heated from below. A series of 45 transient experiments was performed in which the bottom wall temperature changed periodically with time in a “sawtoothlike” fashion. The amplitude of the bottom wall temperature oscillation varied from 3 to 70 percent of the enclosure’s mean temperature difference, and the period of the temperature swings ranged from 43 seconds to 93 minutes. With water as the fluid in the test cell, the flow was fully turbulent at all times. The Rayleigh number of the experiments (based on the enclosure’s height and on the mean temperature difference) was 0.4 × 108 < Ra < 1.2 × 109. It was found that for small changes in the bottom wall temperature, the cycle-averaged heat transfer through the layer was unchanged, independent of the period, and was equal in magnitude to the well-established steady-state value when the hot wall is evaluated at the mean temperature. However, this study shows that the cycle-averaged heat transfer increases notably, up to 12 percent as compared to the steady-state value, for the experiments with large temperature modulations. Futhermore, it was observed that the enchancement was a function of the amplitude and period of the oscillation.

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