A numerical study on natural convection in a vertical square cavity filled with a porous medium is carried out with Brinkman-Forchheimer-extended Darcy flow model, and the validity of local thermodynamic equilibrium assumption is studied. The local thermodynamic equilibrium refers to the state in which a single temperature can be used to describe a heat transfer process in a multiphase system. With this assumption, the analysis is greatly simplified because only one equation is needed to describe the heat transfer process. But prior to using this assumption, it is necessary to know in what conditions the assumption can be used. The numerical results of this study reveal that large temperature difference between fluid phase and solid phase exists near wall region, paticularily when the convection becomes dominant over conduction. And the influence of flow parameters such as fluid Rayleigh number, fluid Prandtl number, dimensionless particle diameter and conductivity ratio are investigated.