Research Papers: Techniques and Procedures

Large Eddy Simulation of the Flow Behavior in a Simplified Helical Coil Steam Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
Jonathan K. Lai

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77845
e-mail: jklai@tamu.edu

Elia Merzari

Mathematics and Computer Science Division,
Argonne National Laboratory,
Lemont, IL 60439
e-mail: emerzari@anl.gov

Yassin A. Hassan

Department of Nuclear Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77845
e-mail: y-hassan@tamu.edu

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 26, 2017; final manuscript received May 23, 2018; published online June 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Elias Balaras.The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.

J. Fluids Eng 141(2), 021401 (Jun 29, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1756; doi: 10.1115/1.4040464 History: Received November 26, 2017; Revised May 23, 2018

Large eddy simulation (LES) is conducted for the flow over the shell side of a helical coil steam generator (HCSG) heat exchanger. Simulations are conducted on a simplified experimental test section that represents a one-column region of the helical coils using half-rods. Although the rods are wall-bounded, the flow still exhibits the turbulent characteristics and fluctuations from vortex shedding that one would expect from crossflow around a cylinder. The spectral element, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Nek5000, is used to capture the physics, and the results are compared with particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. In order to ensure that the turbulence is resolved, analysis is conducted by using the Taylor length scales and normalized wall distance. Sensitivity to the inlet boundary conditions (BCs) and the spatial discretization for different polynomial order solutions are also studied, finding only minor differences between each case. Pressure drop and velocity statistics show reasonable agreement with PIV. Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) analysis reveals that the primary modes are similar between experiment and simulation, although the LES predicts higher turbulent kinetic energy than does PIV. Overall, the study establishes the resolution and resources required in order to conduct a high-fidelity simulation over 12 helical rods.

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Fig. 1

Geometry of fluid domain showing locations of slices and pressure drop length

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Fig. 2

Nomenclature for geometric directions and slices of (a) Section A, (b) Section B, and (c) Section C

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Fig. 3

Coarse mesh (third-order polynomial expansion) to visualize meshing structure

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Fig. 4

Normalized inlet velocity profile using interpolated values from PIV measurements at black lines. Also, locations of where y+ lines are taken are shown with dashed arrows.

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Fig. 5

Variance of streamwise velocity normalized by the inlet velocity (a) without SEM inlet BCs and (b) with SEM inlet BCs

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Fig. 6

Freestream U+ for inner and outer diameter walls of the curved channel

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Fig. 7

Power spectrum at a point in the freestream region with theoretical slope for inertial subrange

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Fig. 8

Taylor length scale normalized by the diameter of the rod at Section A

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Fig. 9

Mean spanwise velocity and streamlines of (a) LES and (b) PIV at Section A

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Fig. 10

Mean spanwise velocity and streamlines of (a) LES and (b) PIV at Section B

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Fig. 11

Mean spanwise velocity and streamlines of (a) LES and (b) PIV at Section C

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Fig. 12

Locations of lines extracted from Section A

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Fig. 13

Mean streamwise velocity at line A1

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Fig. 14

Mean spanwise velocity at line A1

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Fig. 15

Mean streamwise velocity at line A2

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Fig. 16

Mean spanwise velocity at line A2

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Fig. 17

Streamwise root-mean-square velocity at line A2

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Fig. 18

Spanwise root-mean-square velocity at line A2

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Fig. 19

Shear Reynolds stress at line A2

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Fig. 20

Fraction of kinetic energy for the first 12 modes from POD

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Fig. 21

Proper orthogonal decomposition mode 1 velocity of (a) LES and (b) PIV at Section D

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Fig. 22

Proper orthogonal decomposition mode 2 velocity of (a) LES and (b) PIV at Section D

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Fig. 23

Instantaneous isosurfaces of λ2 = −1 × 106 s−2 with the contour of normalized pressure



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