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Title: Validation Data Acquisition in HTTF during PCC Events

Abstract

A validation experimental campaign was conducted in an Integral Effect Test (IET) facility of High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGR), the High-Temperature Test Facility (HTTF) at Oregon State University (OSU). The HTTF simulates Depressurized and Pressurized Conduction Cooldowns (DCC and PCC). This campaign required the development of a new laser spectroscopic diagnostic to measure velocity in the challenging conditions of the HTTF: low speed (~1 m/s) gas flows at HTGR prototypical temperature and 1/10th pressure. This was a collaborative effort between co-PIs at The George Washington University (GW), Oregon State University (OSU), and NASA Langley Research Center. The main accomplishments of this project include the record for dynamic range for velocimetry, highest accuracy obtained with this technique, successful deployment in an IET leading to new validation matrix for CFD. These are detailed below and in manuscript appended to this executive summary. For this project, we introduced a new class of laser spectroscopic diagnostics to Thermal-Hydraulics to measure velocity of gases; furthermore, the diagnostic was demonstrated in-situ in an IET during DCC events. In such scenarios, particles used in mainstream techniques, like Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) are not appropriate as they settle down too rapidly and also contaminate the experimental facility. Molecularmore » tracers stay mixed within the working gas and can seed the flow in a technique called Molecular Tagging Velocimetry (MTV). In MTV a molecular tracer is photo-dissociated by a first (write) laser into radicals or molecules. The pattern created by the write laser is then interrogated with planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), the read pulse(s), which are recorded with a camera. The pattern is probed and matched at two times (interval or probe time, dt), resulting in a time-of-flight velocimetry technique. This project demonstrated a new application range for MTV in gases. MTV has been extensively used for high-speed gas dynamics: molecules do not suffer from inertia associated with particles in regions of high accelerations (such as shock waves). For high-speed flows, the probe time is on the order of 0.1-10 µs. In time-of-flight techniques, the velocity is reconstructed from the recorded displacement, dx, between time interval dt: U = dx/dt. To first order, the resolution of the pattern matching is typically a (fixed) fraction of a pixel; therefore the resolution of the velocity measurement increases with dx and, for a given flow velocity, dt. For the low-speed flows of interest here, this requires long probe time, and therefore finding tracers that are stable for a long time. After an extensive literature survey we identified 6 tracers that would be suitable. We also worked with Spectra Physics to design a custom laser system that is flexible enough to probe these various tracers. The final instrument is made of 4 lasers that are integrated into a compact and movable cart to facilitate the deployment of the instrument off-site. One unique aspect of the laser system is the tunable dye laser (needed to do PLIF of the radicals). By being pumped by two Nd:YAG lasers, this laser is able to provide two pulses with any probe time (dt) for wavelengths between 200 and 900 nm with a linewidth of 3 pm. Accommodating the dual-pulse capability required customizing the pump lasers and the dye laser, making this system unique. Additionally, a custom UV-intensified CCD camera capable of frame-straddling and exposure time as short as 10 ns was acquired. More than two-third of the instrument cost (~$200k) was covered by a cost sharing from the PI’s startup funds. Of the 6 potential tracers identified, two were tested extensively (H2O and N2O) at high-temperature and elevated pressure at GW prior to conducting the tests at OSU. For both tracers, an Ar-F laser (193 nm, 10 ns, 10 mJ/pulse) photo-dissociates trace amounts (0.1 – 5% molar fraction) of the gases into OH and NO. OH is probed at 281.905 nm and NO at 226.186 nm (4-30mJ, 10 ns pulse). NO is very stable in inert environment and we could reconstruct velocities precisely with probe delay times as long at 40 ms, compared to 2 ms for OH, resulting in increased precision. Therefore, for the tests in the HTTF, N2O was selected as the final tracer and its optimal concentration was determined to be 0.5% molar. In the GW laboratory, we obtained a velocity measurement precision of 4 mm/s at conditions mimicking the HTTF tests. We also demonstrated the benefit of molecular tracers over particles and the flexibility of our instrument by continuously measuring velocity from 1000 to 0.1 m/s in a blow down test. This represents a dynamic range on velocity of 80 dB, which is unprecedented for velocimetry! Once the diagnostic was optimized, two two-week campaigns were conducted in the HTTF. This experimental campaign required numerous practical solutions to successfully and rapidly deploy this very sensitive table-top diagnostic in-situ. This was accomplished thanks to very extensive planning from all parties involved in the project. Due to constraints on availability of the HTTF, only adiabatic DCC tests were conducted. Specifically, the velocity was measured at the exit of the hot leg into the Reactor Cavity Simulation Tank (RCST). We were able to record the gas velocity associated with the air ingress for long times (up to one hour). Depending on the initial conditions (density of the gases in the Reactor Pressure Vessel and the RCST) the lock exchange lasted 30-60 s past the valve openings. Large vortices were identified within the shear layer at the interface of the cross flow. These vortices are an indication of shear-driven instability between the counter streams of different density. After the lock-exchange, a small residual flow was still present and its strength decayed exponentially. It finds its source in a buoyancy difference between the gases in both vessels due to the mixing and diffusion of the gases in the cross-over duct and the RPV lower plenum. We did not expect to capture this part of the transient, which would have been less significant (if not negligible) in the presence of a heated core; the precision of our measurement in the HTTF was 6 mm/s, which exceeded our expectations for such a complex test! Using commercial software (Fluent) we simulated the experiment with Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) using Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models. We were not able to accurately reproduce the shear layer instability, mixing, and diffusion captured in our experimental data, even with large 3D meshes (>10 M points). We attributed this to the inadequacy of the RANS models for the flow of interest: our experimental Reynolds number was too low and was outside the applicability range of the RANS models. Instead, we should have employed CFD with less modeling, such as Large Eddy (LES) or even Direct Numerical (DNS) simulations. Unfortunately, we did not have the computational resources to do so. Finally, it should be noted that this experimental technique holds great promises for measuring velocity in thermalhydraulics. MTV has an application domain (highlighted in the narrative) that is complimentary to more established (and simpler) techniques, such as PIV. It has attracted the attention of several thermalhydraulics researchers and sponsors to measure velocity in harsh environments. The spectroscopic nature of this technique also enables to expand it to measure temperature and concentration simultaneously to velocity. In lieu of a narrative, 4 detailed journal publications are appended to this executive summary to describe the various development and accomplishments during this project. They include 2 published manuscripts (Experiments in Fluids and Measurement Science and Technology), and two invited contributions following the NURETH-17 conference (Nuclear Science and Technology). Our current Nuclear Engineering and Design draft is not included at this time.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (United States); Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Nuclear Energy University Programs
OSTI Identifier:
1425638
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP-13-4884
13-4884; TRN: US1900696
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0000662
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; DYE LASERS; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; HTGR TYPE REACTORS; DATA ACQUISITION; VALIDATION

Citation Formats

Bardet, Philippe. Validation Data Acquisition in HTTF during PCC Events. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1425638.
Bardet, Philippe. Validation Data Acquisition in HTTF during PCC Events. United States. doi:10.2172/1425638.
Bardet, Philippe. Wed . "Validation Data Acquisition in HTTF during PCC Events". United States. doi:10.2172/1425638. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1425638.
@article{osti_1425638,
title = {Validation Data Acquisition in HTTF during PCC Events},
author = {Bardet, Philippe},
abstractNote = {A validation experimental campaign was conducted in an Integral Effect Test (IET) facility of High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGR), the High-Temperature Test Facility (HTTF) at Oregon State University (OSU). The HTTF simulates Depressurized and Pressurized Conduction Cooldowns (DCC and PCC). This campaign required the development of a new laser spectroscopic diagnostic to measure velocity in the challenging conditions of the HTTF: low speed (~1 m/s) gas flows at HTGR prototypical temperature and 1/10th pressure. This was a collaborative effort between co-PIs at The George Washington University (GW), Oregon State University (OSU), and NASA Langley Research Center. The main accomplishments of this project include the record for dynamic range for velocimetry, highest accuracy obtained with this technique, successful deployment in an IET leading to new validation matrix for CFD. These are detailed below and in manuscript appended to this executive summary. For this project, we introduced a new class of laser spectroscopic diagnostics to Thermal-Hydraulics to measure velocity of gases; furthermore, the diagnostic was demonstrated in-situ in an IET during DCC events. In such scenarios, particles used in mainstream techniques, like Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) are not appropriate as they settle down too rapidly and also contaminate the experimental facility. Molecular tracers stay mixed within the working gas and can seed the flow in a technique called Molecular Tagging Velocimetry (MTV). In MTV a molecular tracer is photo-dissociated by a first (write) laser into radicals or molecules. The pattern created by the write laser is then interrogated with planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), the read pulse(s), which are recorded with a camera. The pattern is probed and matched at two times (interval or probe time, dt), resulting in a time-of-flight velocimetry technique. This project demonstrated a new application range for MTV in gases. MTV has been extensively used for high-speed gas dynamics: molecules do not suffer from inertia associated with particles in regions of high accelerations (such as shock waves). For high-speed flows, the probe time is on the order of 0.1-10 µs. In time-of-flight techniques, the velocity is reconstructed from the recorded displacement, dx, between time interval dt: U = dx/dt. To first order, the resolution of the pattern matching is typically a (fixed) fraction of a pixel; therefore the resolution of the velocity measurement increases with dx and, for a given flow velocity, dt. For the low-speed flows of interest here, this requires long probe time, and therefore finding tracers that are stable for a long time. After an extensive literature survey we identified 6 tracers that would be suitable. We also worked with Spectra Physics to design a custom laser system that is flexible enough to probe these various tracers. The final instrument is made of 4 lasers that are integrated into a compact and movable cart to facilitate the deployment of the instrument off-site. One unique aspect of the laser system is the tunable dye laser (needed to do PLIF of the radicals). By being pumped by two Nd:YAG lasers, this laser is able to provide two pulses with any probe time (dt) for wavelengths between 200 and 900 nm with a linewidth of 3 pm. Accommodating the dual-pulse capability required customizing the pump lasers and the dye laser, making this system unique. Additionally, a custom UV-intensified CCD camera capable of frame-straddling and exposure time as short as 10 ns was acquired. More than two-third of the instrument cost (~$200k) was covered by a cost sharing from the PI’s startup funds. Of the 6 potential tracers identified, two were tested extensively (H2O and N2O) at high-temperature and elevated pressure at GW prior to conducting the tests at OSU. For both tracers, an Ar-F laser (193 nm, 10 ns, 10 mJ/pulse) photo-dissociates trace amounts (0.1 – 5% molar fraction) of the gases into OH and NO. OH is probed at 281.905 nm and NO at 226.186 nm (4-30mJ, 10 ns pulse). NO is very stable in inert environment and we could reconstruct velocities precisely with probe delay times as long at 40 ms, compared to 2 ms for OH, resulting in increased precision. Therefore, for the tests in the HTTF, N2O was selected as the final tracer and its optimal concentration was determined to be 0.5% molar. In the GW laboratory, we obtained a velocity measurement precision of 4 mm/s at conditions mimicking the HTTF tests. We also demonstrated the benefit of molecular tracers over particles and the flexibility of our instrument by continuously measuring velocity from 1000 to 0.1 m/s in a blow down test. This represents a dynamic range on velocity of 80 dB, which is unprecedented for velocimetry! Once the diagnostic was optimized, two two-week campaigns were conducted in the HTTF. This experimental campaign required numerous practical solutions to successfully and rapidly deploy this very sensitive table-top diagnostic in-situ. This was accomplished thanks to very extensive planning from all parties involved in the project. Due to constraints on availability of the HTTF, only adiabatic DCC tests were conducted. Specifically, the velocity was measured at the exit of the hot leg into the Reactor Cavity Simulation Tank (RCST). We were able to record the gas velocity associated with the air ingress for long times (up to one hour). Depending on the initial conditions (density of the gases in the Reactor Pressure Vessel and the RCST) the lock exchange lasted 30-60 s past the valve openings. Large vortices were identified within the shear layer at the interface of the cross flow. These vortices are an indication of shear-driven instability between the counter streams of different density. After the lock-exchange, a small residual flow was still present and its strength decayed exponentially. It finds its source in a buoyancy difference between the gases in both vessels due to the mixing and diffusion of the gases in the cross-over duct and the RPV lower plenum. We did not expect to capture this part of the transient, which would have been less significant (if not negligible) in the presence of a heated core; the precision of our measurement in the HTTF was 6 mm/s, which exceeded our expectations for such a complex test! Using commercial software (Fluent) we simulated the experiment with Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) using Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models. We were not able to accurately reproduce the shear layer instability, mixing, and diffusion captured in our experimental data, even with large 3D meshes (>10 M points). We attributed this to the inadequacy of the RANS models for the flow of interest: our experimental Reynolds number was too low and was outside the applicability range of the RANS models. Instead, we should have employed CFD with less modeling, such as Large Eddy (LES) or even Direct Numerical (DNS) simulations. Unfortunately, we did not have the computational resources to do so. Finally, it should be noted that this experimental technique holds great promises for measuring velocity in thermalhydraulics. MTV has an application domain (highlighted in the narrative) that is complimentary to more established (and simpler) techniques, such as PIV. It has attracted the attention of several thermalhydraulics researchers and sponsors to measure velocity in harsh environments. The spectroscopic nature of this technique also enables to expand it to measure temperature and concentration simultaneously to velocity. In lieu of a narrative, 4 detailed journal publications are appended to this executive summary to describe the various development and accomplishments during this project. They include 2 published manuscripts (Experiments in Fluids and Measurement Science and Technology), and two invited contributions following the NURETH-17 conference (Nuclear Science and Technology). Our current Nuclear Engineering and Design draft is not included at this time.},
doi = {10.2172/1425638},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}