Natural convection in a square cavity with a centrally located partition is considered. While one of the side walls is fully active, the other is partly insulated. Numerical simulation, based on the finite element method, has been carried out for different lengths of the active surface. The results have been compared with the cases when the cavity is without partition as well as the case of a partitioned cavity with fully active side walls. © 1992, MCB UP Limited. All rights reserved.