Two-Phase Flow Structure in Large Diameter Pipes


Flow in large pipes is important in a wide variety of applications. In the nuclear industry in particular, understanding of flow in large diameter pipes is essential in predicting the behavior of reactor systems. This is especially true of natural circulation Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) designs, where a large-diameter chimney above the core provides the gravity head to drive circulation of the coolant through the reactor. The behavior of such reactors during transients and during normal operation will be predicted using advanced thermal-hydraulics analysis codes utilizing the two-fluid model. Essential to accurate two-fluid model calculations is reliable and accurate computation of the interfacial transfer terms. These interfacial transfer terms can be expressed as the product of one term describing the potential driving the transfer and a second term describing the available surface area for transfer, or interfacial area concentration. Currently, the interfacial area is predicted using flow regime dependent empirical correlations; however the interfacial area concentration is best computed through the use of the one-dimensional interfacial area transport equation (IATE). To facilitate the development of IATE source and sink term models in large-diameter pipes a fundamental understanding of the structure of the two-phase flow is essential. This understanding is improved through measurement of the local void fraction, interfacial area concentration and gas velocity profiles in pipes with diameters of 0.102. m and 0.152. m under a wide variety of flow conditions. Additionally, flow regime identification has been performed to evaluate the existing flow regime transition criteria for large pipes. This has provided a more extensive database for the development and evaluation of IATE source and sink models. The data shows the expected trends with some distortion in the transition region between cap-bubbly and churn-turbulent flow. The flow regime map for the 0.102. m and 0.152. m diameter test sections agree with the existing flow regime transition criteria. It may be necessary to perform further experiments in larger pipes and at higher gas flow rates to expand the range of conditions for which models can be developed and tested. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Keywords and Phrases

Flow Regime; Interfacial Area; Large Pipe; Void Fraction

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Article - Journal

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© 2012 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2012