Flow visualization experiments were performed in a low-speed wind tunnel to study vortex instability of laminar natural convection flow along inclined isothermally heated plates having inclination angles from the horizontal of θ = 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 deg. The temperature difference between plate surface and ambient air ranged from ΔT = 15.5 to 37.5°C and the local Grashof number range was Grx = 1.02×106 to 2.13×108. Three characteristic flow regimes were identified as follows: a two-dimensional laminar flow, a transition regime for developing longitudinal vortices, and a turbulent regime after the breakdown of the longitudinal vortices. Photographs are presented of side and top views of the flow and of cross-sectional views of the developing views of the developing secondary flow in the postcritical regime. Instability data of critical Grashof number and wavelength are presented and are compared with the theoretical predictions from the literature.

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