Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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On the modelling of bubbly flow in vertical pipes

Krepper, E.; Lucas, D.; Prasser, H.-M.


To qualify CFD codes for two-phase flows, they have to be equipped with constitutive models standing for the interaction between the gaseous and the liquid phases. In case of bubble flow this particularly concerns the forces acting on the bubbles and bubble coalescence and break-up. Information on the local structure of the flow is also required by 1D thermal-hydraulic codes. Gas-liquid flow in vertical pipes is a very good object for studying the corresponding phenomena. Here, the bubbles move under clear boundary conditions, resulting in a shear field of nearly constant structure where the bubbles rise for a comparatively long time. The evolution of the flow within the pipe depends on a very complex interaction between bubble forces and bubble coalescence and break-up. E.g. the Lift-force, which strongly influences the radial distribution of the bubbles, changes its sign depending on the bubble diameter. Basing on extensive experimental data with a high resolution in space and time the applicability and the limits for the simulation of bubble flow with current CFD-codes are demonstrated, using the simulation of vertical pipe flow with CFX-4 as an example. Using a simplified model, parametric studies can be conducted. They give an indication for necessary improvements of the codes. Finally a possible way for the improvement of the CFD-codes is shown.

Keywords: two phase flow; bubbly flow; bubble size; vertical pipe flow; computational fluid dynamics

  • Nuclear Engineering and Design 235(2005), 597-611