The classical Nusselt problem of film condensation: direct steady and unsteady computational simulations that yield results on stability and wave effects

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Accurate steady and unsteady numerical solutions of the full 2D governing equations for the Nusselt problem (film condensation of quiescent saturated vapor on a vertical wall) are presented and related to known results. The problem, solved accurately up to film Reynolds number of 60 (Reδ ≤ 60), establishes various features of the well known steady solution and reveals the interesting phenomena of stability, instability and non-linear wave effects. The wave effects are shown to arise from the intrinsic flow instabilities as well as sensitivity to ever present minuscule transverse vibrations of the condensing surface. The results also suggest ways to enhance wave fluctuations and heat transfer rates.

Publisher's Statement

© 2005 by ASME. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2005-80221

Publication Title

ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition: Applied Mechanics