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Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow

Article Title

Effect of interfacial drag force model on code prediction for upward adiabatic two-phase bubbly flow in vertical channels

Keywords

interfacial area transport equation, interfacial drag force, interfacial transfer, TRACE, TRAC

Abstract

Accurate modeling of the interfacial drag force is one of the keys to predicting thermo-fluid parameters using one-dimensional nuclear thermal-hydraulic system analysis code architected through the two-fluid model. The interfacial drag force appears in the interfacial momentum transfer term and governs the velocity slip or the relative velocity between gas and liquid phases. The most straightforward method to model the interfacial drag force is to model the force through the drag law (drag law approach). A drag coefficient and interfacial area concentration should be given to close the interfacial drag force model. Among them, the modeling of the interfacial area concentration has been one of the weakest links in the interfacial drag force modeling due to the lack of reliable data covering a wide test condition including prototypic nuclear reactor conditions and lack of physically sound interfacial area model. To avoid a considerable uncertainty in the prediction of the interfacial area concentration, Andersen and Chu (1982) proposed the interfacial drag force model using the drift-flux parameters (Andersen approach). The Andersen approach is practical for the simulation of a slow transient flow and a steady flow. Major system analysis codes such as USNRC TRACE have adopted the Andersen approach in the interfacial drag force modeling. Some attempts to improve the code performance have been considered using the drag law approach with the interfacial area transport equation. The dynamic modeling of the interfacial area concentration has the potential to improve the prediction accuracy of the interfacial area concentration in a transient flow and developing flow. Due to the importance of the improved interfacial drag force modeling, the implementation and evaluation of the interfacial area transport equation in USNRC TRACE code has been performed by Talley et al. (2011, 2013). The study claimed that the introduction of the interfacial area transport equation into the TRACE code improved the code performance in an adiabatic bubbly flow analysis significantly. The present study assessed the code calculation made by Talley et al. (2011) and identified several issues in the code calculation results. The present study analytically demonstrated that the drag law approach became identical with the Andersen approach for the distorted particle regime (or a major bubble shape regime in bubbly flow) due to the balancing-out of the interfacial area concentration (or bubble size) in the numerator and denominator of the interfacial drag force formulation. The code calculation using TRAC code endorsed the analytical assessment of the insignificant or no merit of the interfacial area transport equation in the code performance of the adiabatic bubbly flow analysis. The present study also pointed out the inconsistency of the code calculation made by Talley et al. (2011).

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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