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Keywords:

  • vertical plate;
  • convective boundary condition;
  • internal heat generation;
  • buoyancy forces

Abstract

This paper considers the effect of buoyancy force and internal heat generation on laminar thermal boundary layer over a vertical plate with a convective surface boundary condition. We assumed that left surface of the plate is in contact with a hot fluid while a stream of cold fluid flows steadily over the right surface with a heat source that decays exponentially. Using a similarity variable, the steady state governing non-linear partial differential equations have been transformed into a set of coupled non-linear ordinary differential equations, which are solved numerically by applying shooting iteration technique together with fourth order Runge–Kutta integration scheme. The effects of Prandtl number, local Biot number, the internal heat generation parameter and the local Grashof number on the velocity and temperature profiles are illustrated and interpreted in physical terms. A comparison with previously published results on special case of the problem shows excellent agreement. From our results, an overshoot of fluid velocity within the boundary layer is observed due to combined effect of buoyancy force and internal heat generation, in addition, internal heat generation causes thickening of thermal boundary layer. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering