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Julien Salort - Local investigation of turbulent thermal flows

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Turbulent thermal convection is a process that occurs naturally in a wide range of natural and industrial systems. One possible model system, widely used to study this problem is the Rayleigh-BĂ©nard cell: a fluid layer confined in a closed cell with adiabatic walls, heated from below and cooled from above. Although this is one of the first non-linear model system that was investigated nearly a century ago, the emergence and the role of turbulence inside the boundary layers and their consequences on the global heat transfer are still open for debate. It is now clear however that the plates and the boundary conditions play a crucial role in the dynamics of the system.

To understand how instabilities develop near the plates and how they affect the general dynamics of heat transport, our approach is to purposely change the plate properties to trigger transitions in the boundary layers. One possibility is to introduce controlled plate roughnesses, and study how the basic constituents of the thermal heat transport, namely thermal plumes, are modified. To figure out the interaction between plumes, we now aim at local heat flux measurements. We are designing a dedicated sensor in the clean room, based on silicon micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) technology. This will give access to both the local velocity and temperature, hence making it possible to measure local velocity-temperature correlations and the turbulent contribution to the heat flux.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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