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Steady State RANS Simulations of Temperature Fluctuation in a Single Phase Turbulent Mixing

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Kickhofel John, Kapulla Ralf, Fokken Juerren, Prasser Horst Michael,
Project Temperature Fluctuations in Fluid and Pipe Walls induced by Turbulent Mixing
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants 2012, ICAPP 2012
Place Chicago, USA


Single phase turbulent mixing in nuclear power plant circuits where a strong temperature gradient is present is known to precipitate pipe failure due to thermal fatigue. Experiments in a square mixing channel offer the opportunity to study the phenomenon under simple and easily reproducible boundary conditions. Measurements of this kind have been performed extensively at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland with a high density of instrumentation in the Generic Mixing Experiment (GEMIX). As a fundamental mixing phenomena study closely related to the thermal fatigue problem, the experimental results from GEMIX are valuable for the validation of CFD codes striving to accurately simulate both the temperature and velocity fields in single phase turbulent mixing. In the experiments two isokinetic streams meet at a shallow angle of 3 degrees and mix in a straight channel of square cross-section under various degrees of density, temperature, and viscosity stratification over a range of Reynolds numbers ranging from 5*10 3 to 1*10 5. Conductivity measurements, using wire-mesh and wall sensors, as well as optical measurements, using particle image velocimetry, were conducted with high temporal and spatial resolutions (up to 2.5 kHz and 1 mm in the case of the wire mesh sensor) in the mixing zone, downstream of a splitter plate. The present paper communicates the results of RANS modeling of selected GEMIX tests. Steady-state CFD calculations using a RANS turbulence model represent an inexpensive method for analyzing large and complex components in commercial nuclear reactors, such as the downcommer and reactor pressure vessel heads. Crucial to real world applicability, however, is the ability to model turbulent heat fluctuations in the flow; the Turbulent Heat Flux Transport model developed by ANSYS CFX is capable, by implementation of a transport equation for turbulent heat fluxes, of readily modeling these values. Furthermore, the closure of the turbulent heat flux transport equation evokes a transport equation for the variance of the enthalpy. It is therefore possible to compare the modeled fluctuations of the liquid temperature directly with the scalar fluctuations recorded experimentally with the wire-mesh. Combined with a working Turbulent Heat Flux Transport model, complex mixing problems in large geometries could be better understood. We aim for the validation of Reynolds Stress based RANS simulations extended by the Turbulent Heat Flux Transport model by modeling the GEMIX experiments in detail. Numerical modeling has been performed using both BSL and SSG Reynolds Stress Models in a test matrix comprising experimental trials at the GEMIX facility. We expand on the turbulent mixing RANS CFD results of (Manera 2009) in a few ways. In the GEMIX facility we introduce density stratification in the flow while removing the characteristic large scale vorticity encountered in T-junctions and therefore find better conditions to check the diffusive conditions in the model. Furthermore, we study the performance of the model in a very different, simpler scalar fluctuation spectrum. The paper discusses the performance of the model regarding the dissipation of the turbulent kinetic energy and dissipation of the enthalpy variance. A novel element is the analyses of cases with density stratification.