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Effects of Shape and Size on Countercurrent Flow Limitation in Flow Channels Simulating A PWR Hot Leg

Ikuo Kinoshita, Michio Murase, Yoichi Utanohara, Dirk Lucas, Christophe Vallée, and Akio Tomiyama

Nuclear Technology / Volume 187 / Number 1 / July 2014 / Pages 44-56

Technical Paper / Fission Reactors /

A numerical study is presented to examine the effects on countercurrent flow limitation (CCFL) of the shape and size of hot leg models with a rectangular cross section. The CCFL was described in terms of Wallis parameters using the channel height H as the characteristic length. Numerical simulations, using the computational fluid dynamics software code FLUENT 6.3.26, were done for the air-water CCFL experiments carried out previously at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in a 1/3-scale hot leg model with a rectangular channel (H×W = 0.25×0.05 m2), and the results were compared with the air-water CCFL data obtained at Kobe University in a 1/5-scale hot leg model with rectangular cross section (H×W = 0.15×0.01 m2) and the results of simulations. It was found that both the height-to-width ratio and the size of the cross section affected the CCFL characteristics in the Wallis diagram. Comparison of CCFL characteristics in rectangular channels with those in circular channels showed that the hydraulic diameter Dh was a major cross-section geometry term influencing the CCFL characteristics. CCFL constants of the Wallis correlation were ∼0.61 on average for the range 0.05 m ≤ Dh ≤ 0.75 m but became small for Dh ≤ 0.0254 m, and these tendencies were well reproduced by the numerical simulations.

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