Numerical modeling of turbulent mixing is complicated not only by the natural complexity of the flow physics, but by the model sensitivity to the user specified conditions. When aiming to quantify the level of trust in a given model, a validation experiment is often performed to provide data against which confidence comparisons can be made, ultimately evaluating the adequacy of the model assumptions. In the nuclear community, a number of promising Generation IV reactor concepts have been proposed, each requiring high fidelity modeling capabilities to accurately assess safety related issues. The experiment described in this paper is intended to provide a much needed validation data set to assess the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in a complex turbulent mixing scenario relevant to the prismatic very high temperature reactor (VHTR) concept. Over the course of the VHTR’s operation, the reactor’s graphite moderated hexagonal fuel blocks shrink from neutron damage, forming interstitial gaps between adjacent blocks. A significant percentage of the coolant can flow through these gaps, having a substantial impact on the thermal-hydraulic conditions in the core. An experimental facility is presented that uses air as a simulant fluid and includes a unit cell representation of the hexagonal blocks, which accounts for both the intended circular channels and secondary rectangular slot features induced by the bypass gaps. The outlet of the unit cell consists of a collated jet consisting of a central round jet surrounded by three slot jets at relative 120° angles to one another issuing into a stagnant domain. A preliminary test case is proposed in which the collated jet is set to an isothermal and iso-velocity condition. Constant temperature anemometry (CTA) and constant current anemometry (CCA) measurements serve to capture the velocity and temperature inlet quantities (IQs). Particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements provide the appropriate system response quantities (SRQs), yielding insight into the mean and fluctuating components of the 2-D velocity field. Results are presented in the range of 0–8 diameters downstream of the inlet to the test section. The collated jet inlet region yields velocity profiles that are heavily influenced by opposing pressure gradients between the neighboring round and slot regions. As a result, the velocity peaks found in this area are neither in the centerline of the round jet nor that of the slot, but are towards the outer edge of each. With increasing downstream distance, the collated jet is found to exhibit a more classical round jet profile. The inlet region of the collated jet is thus of particular interest to future modeling efforts to more accurately depict the lower plenum behavior and transition to a self-similar profile downstream. Proper uncertainty quantification is also presented, and aids in assessing the integrity of the experimental results for future CFD validation.

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