Volume 84, Number 2, October 2008
Article Number 24001
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 25 September 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 24001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/24001

Breakdown of large-scale circulation in turbulent rotating convection

R. P. J. Kunnen1, H. J. H. Clercx1, 2 and B. J. Geurts2, 1

1   Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Department of Physics, International Collaboration for Turbulence Research (ICTR) & J.M. Burgers Centre for Fluid Dynamics, Eindhoven University of Technology - P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands, EU
2   Department of Applied Mathematics, International Collaboration for Turbulence Research (ICTR) & J.M. Burgers Centre for Fluid Dynamics, University of Twente - P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands, EU

received 7 July 2008; accepted in final form 3 September 2008; published October 2008
published online 25 September 2008

Turbulent rotating convection in a cylinder is investigated both numerically and experimentally at Rayleigh number Ra = 109 and Prandtl number $\sigma$ = 6.4. In this letter we discuss two topics: the breakdown under rotation of the domain-filling large-scale circulation (LSC) typical for confined convection, and the convective heat transfer through the fluid layer, expressed by the Nusselt number. The presence of the LSC is addressed for several rotation rates. For Rossby numbers Ro $\lesssim$ 1.2 no LSC is found (the Rossby number indicates relative importance of buoyancy over rotation, hence small Ro indicates strong rotation). For larger Rossby numbers a precession of the LSC in anticyclonic direction (counter to the background rotation) is observed. It is shown that the heat transfer has a maximal value close to Ro = 0.18 being about 15% larger than in the non-rotating case Ro = $\infty $. Since the LSC is no longer present at this Rossby value we conclude that the peak heat transfer is independent of the LSC.

47.55.pb - Thermal convection.
47.32.Ef - Rotating and swirling flows.

© EPLA 2008