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Electric tornados

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AIP Physics of Fluids 23, 015103 (2011); doi:10.1063/1.3541817 (10 pages)

Electromagnetically driven dwarf tornados in turbulent convection
by Saša Kenjereš, Department of Multi-Scale Physics and J.M. Burgerscentre for Fluid Dynamics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Motivated by the concept of interdependency of turbulent flow and electromagnetic fields inside the spiraling galaxies, we explored the possibilities of generating a localized Lorentz force that will produce a three-dimensional swirling flow in weakly conductive fluids. Multiple vortical flow patterns were generated by combining arrays of permanent magnets and electrodes with supplied dc current. This concept was numerically simulated and applied to affect natural convection flow, turbulence, and heat transfer inside a rectangular enclosure heated from below and cooled from above over a range of Rayleigh numbers (104 ≤ Ra ≤ 5×109). The large-eddy simulations revealed that for low- and intermediate-values of Ra, the heat transfer was increased more than five times when an electromagnetic forcing was activated. In contrast to the generally accepted view that electromagnetic forcing will suppress velocity fluctuations and will increase anisotropy of turbulence, we demonstrated that localized forcing can enhance turbulence isotropy of thermal convection compared to its neutral state.
© 2011 American Institute of Physics