Three dimensional mixed convection flow in a horizontal rectangular duct at low Reynolds numbers 5 ≤ Re ≤ 100 has been investigated numerically. Multiple strip heat sources are flushed-mounted on the bottom surface, modeling IC chips on PCBs. Two different flow patterns were observed. For Re ≥ 20, and Gr ≤ 1.5 × 104, only steady longitudinal rolls appear in the channel. The discontinuous deployment of heat sources on the bottom makes the longitudinal rolls expand and shrink periodically. The unsteady flow consists of steady longitudinal rolls near the side walls and traveling transverse rolls at the core region of the channel. The traveling velocity of the transverse rolls was found to be equal to the mean velocity of the forced flow. The implications of these observations to the cooling of electronic equipment are discussed.

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