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Dynamics of the free surface of stratified two-phase flows in channels with rectangular cross-sections
Vallée, C.
Stratified two-phase flows were investigated at different test facilities with horizontal test sections in order to provide an experimental database for the development and validation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes. These channels were designed with rectangular cross-sections to enable optimal observation conditions for the application of optical measurement techniques. Consequently, the local flow structure was visualised with a high-speed video camera, delivering data with high-resolution in space and time as needed for CFD code validation.

Generic investigations were performed at atmospheric pressure and room temperature in two air/water channels made of acrylic glass. Divers preliminary experiments were conducted with various measuring systems in a test section mounted between two separators. The second test facility, the Horizontal Air/Water Channel (HAWAC), is dedicated to co-current flow investigations. The hydraulic jump as the quasi-stationary discontinuous transition between super- and subcritical flow was studied in this closed channel. Moreover, the instable wave growth leading to slug flow was investigated from the test section inlet. For quantitative analysis of the optical measurements, an algorithm was developed to recognise the stratified interface in the camera frames, allowing statistical treatments for comparison with CFD calculation results.

The third test apparatus was installed in the pressure chamber of the TOPFLOW test facility in order to be operated at reactor typical conditions under pressure equilibrium with the vessel atmosphere. The test section representing a flat model of the hot leg of the German Konvoi pressurised water reactor (PWR) scaled at 1:3 is equipped with large glass side walls in the region of the elbow and of the steam generator inlet chamber to allow visual observations. The experiments were conducted with air and water at room temperature and maximum pressures of 3 bar as well as with steam and water at boundary conditions of up to 50 bar and 264°C. Four types of experiments were performed, including generic test cases as well as transient validation cases of typical nuclear reactor safety issues. As an example, the co-current flow experiments simulate the two-phase natural circulation in the primary circuit of a PWR. The probability distribution of the water level measured in the reactor pressure vessel simulator was used to characterise the flow in the hot leg. Moreover, the flooding behaviour in this conduit was investigated with dedicated counter-current flow limitation experiments. A comparison of the flooding characteristics with similar experimental data and correlations available in the literature shows that the channel height is the characteristic length to be used in the Wallis parameter for channels with rectangular cross-sections. Furthermore, for the analysis of steam/water experiments, condensation effects had to be taken into account. Finally, the experimental results confirm that the Wallis similarity is appropriate to scale flooding in the hot leg of a PWR over a large range of pressure and temperature conditions.

Not least, different examples of comparison between experiment and simulation demonstrate the possibilities offered by the data to support the development and validation of CFD codes. Besides the comparison of qualitative aspects, it is shown exemplarily how to treat the CFD results in order to enable quantitative comparisons with the experiments.
Keywords: stratified two-phase flows, high-speed camera observation, videometry, HAWAC, TOPFLOW, steam/water experiments, hot leg model, counter-current flow limitation, CCFL, CFD validation
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; HZDR-018 2012
    ISSN: 2191-8708

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