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Title: Experimental and CFD Studies of Coolant Flow Mixing within Scaled Models of the Upper and Lower Plenums of NGNP Gas-Cooled Reactors

A 1/16th scaled VHTR experimental model was constructed and the preliminary test was performed in this study. To produce benchmark data for CFD validation in the future, the facility was first run at partial operation with five pipes being heated. PIV was performed to extract the vector velocity field for three adjacent naturally convective jets at statistically steady state. A small recirculation zone was found between the pipes, and the jets entered the merging zone at 3 cm from the pipe outlet but diverged as the flow approached the top of the test geometry. Turbulence analysis shows the turbulence intensity peaked at 41-45% as the jets mixed. A sensitivity analysis confirmed that 1000 frames were sufficient to measure statistically steady state. The results were then validated by extracting the flow rate from the PIV jet velocity profile, and comparing it with an analytic flow rate and ultrasonic flowmeter; all flow rates lie within the uncertainty of the other two methods for Tests 1 and 2. This test facility can be used for further analysis of naturally convective mixing, and eventually produce benchmark data for CFD validation for the VHTR during a PCC or DCC accident scenario. Next, a PTV studymore » of 3000 images (1500 image pairs) were used to quantify the velocity field in the upper plenum. A sensitivity analysis confirmed that 1500 frames were sufficient to precisely estimate the flow. Subsequently, three (3, 9, and 15 cm) Y-lines from the pipe output were extracted to consider the output differences between 50 to 1500 frames. The average velocity field and standard deviation error that accrued in the three different tests were calculated to assess repeatability. The error was varied, from 1 to 14%, depending on Y-elevation. The error decreased as the flow moved farther from the output pipe. In addition, turbulent intensity was calculated and found to be high near the output. Reynolds stresses and turbulent intensity were used to validate the data by comparing it with benchmark data. The experimental data gave the same pattern as the benchmark data. A turbulent single buoyant jet study was performed for the case of LOFC in the upper plenum of scaled VHTR. Time-averaged profiles show that 3,000 frames of images were sufficient for the study up to second-order statistics. Self-similarity is an important feature of jets since the behavior of jets is independent of Reynolds number and a sole function of geometry. Self-similarity profiles were well observed in the axial velocity and velocity magnitude profile regardless of z/D where the radial velocity did not show any similarity pattern. The normal components of Reynolds stresses have self-similarity within the expected range. The study shows that large vortices were observed close to the dome wall, indicating that the geometry of the VHTR has a significant impact on its safety and performance. Near the dome surface, large vortices were shown to inhibit the flows, resulting in reduced axial jet velocity. The vortices that develop subsequently reduce the Reynolds stresses that develop and the impact on the integrity of the VHTR upper plenum surface. Multiple jets study, including two, three and five jets, were investigated.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1253943
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP--12-3759
12-3759; TRN: US1601394
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; VELOCITY; REYNOLDS NUMBER; JETS; GEOMETRY; GAS COOLED REACTORS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; SCALE MODELS; BENCHMARKS; FLOW RATE; PIPES; VALIDATION; DATA COVARIANCESS; IMAGES; MIXING; STRESSES; VORTICES; SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; COOLANTS; STATISTICS; TURBULENCE; VECTORS; ZONES; TEST FACILITIES; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; OPERATION; PERFORMANCE; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; FLUID MECHANICS