Laminar free convective heat transfer from a vertical flat plate has been studied for water close to its critical point where there are marked variations in density and specific heat. All of the trends indicated in the authors’ previous analytical investigation were verified by the experimental data. There was a systematic deviation of about 20 percent—the analytical results being consistently lower than the experimental observations. However, this could easily be due to the lack of precise thermal conductivity and dynamic viscosity data for the region of interest. This investigation has established that the basic conservation and state equations with variable properties may be used to adequately describe laminar free convection heat transfer in supercritical water up to a few tenths of a degree from the critical point.

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