CFD modeling of thermal mixing in a T-junction geometry using LES model

Ayhan H., SÖKMEN C. N.

NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, vol.253, pp.183-191, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Turbulent mixing of fluids at different temperatures can lead to temperature fluctuations at the pipe material. These fluctuations, or thermal striping, inducing cyclical thermal stresses and resulting thermal fatigue, may cause unexpected failure of pipe material. Therefore, an accurate characterization of temperature fluctuations is important in order to estimate the lifetime of pipe material. Thermal fatigue of the coolant circuits of nuclear power plants is one of the major issues in nuclear safety. To investigate thermal fatigue damage, the OECD/NEA has recently organized a blind benchmark study including some of results of present work for prediction of temperature and velocity fluctuations performing a thermal mixing experiment in a T-junction. This paper aims to estimate the frequency of velocity and temperature fluctuations in the mixing region using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) models were used to simulate turbulence. CFD results were compared with the available experimental results. Predicted LES results, even in coarse mesh, were found to be in well-agreement with the experimental results in terms of amplitude and frequency of temperature and velocity fluctuations. Analysis of the temperature fluctuations and the power spectrum densities (PSD) at the locations having the strongest temperature fluctuations in the tee junction shows that the frequency range of 2-5 Hz contains most of the energy. This range of frequency is characteristic for thermal fatigue. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.