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Numerical simulation of flow through an eccentric annulus with heat transfer

Amit K. Chauhan (Department of Applied Mechanics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
B.V.S.S.S. Prasad (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
B.S.V. Patnaik (Department of Applied Mechanics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of narrow gap on the fluid flow and heat transfer through an eccentric annular region is numerically. Flow through an eccentric annular geometry is a model problem of practical interest.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach involves standard finite volume-based SIMPLE scheme. The numerical simulations cover the practically relevant Reynolds number range of 104-106.

Findings

In the narrow gap region, temperature shoot up was observed due to flow maldistribution with an attendant reduction in the heat removal from the wall surfaces. CFD analysis is presented with the aid of, streamlines, isotherms, axial velocity contours, etc. The engineering parameters of interest such as, Nusselt number, wall shear stress, etc., is presented to study the effect of eccentricity and radius ratio.

Research limitations/implications

The present investigation is a simplified model for the rod bundle heat transfer studies. However, the detailed study of sectorial mass flux distribution is a useful precursor to the thermal hydraulics of rod bundles.

Practical implications

For nuclear reactor fuel rods, the effect of eccentricity is going to be detrimental and might lead to the condition of critical heat flux. A thorough sub-channel analysis is very useful.

Social implications

Nuclear safety standards require answers to a wide a range of what-if type hypothetical scenarios to enable preparedness. This study is a highly simplified model and a first step in that direction.

Originality/value

The narrow gap region has been systematically investigated for the first time. A detailed sectorial analysis reveals that, flow maldistribution and the attendant temperature shoot up in the narrow gap region is detrimental to the safe operation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the annonymous referees for their valuable comments. The authors are grateful to Board of Research in Nuclear Science (BRNS), India for supporting one of the authors Amit K. Chauhan (AKC) through a Fellowship.

Citation

K. Chauhan, A., Prasad, B.V.S.S.S. and Patnaik, B.S.V. (2014), "Numerical simulation of flow through an eccentric annulus with heat transfer", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 24 No. 8, pp. 1864-1887. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-07-2013-0230

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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