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Lateral Mixing Mechanisms in Vertical and Horizontal Interconnected Subchannel Two-Phase Flows

Sarman Gençay, Alberto Teyssedou, Peter Tye

Nuclear Technology / Volume 138 / Number 2 / Pages 140-161

May 2002


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A lateral mixing model based on equal volume exchange between two laterally interconnected subchannels is presented. The following mixing mechanisms are taken into account in this model: (a) diversion cross flow, caused by the lateral pressure difference between adjacent subchannels; (b) turbulent void diffusion, which is governed by the lateral void fraction difference between the subchannels; (c) void drift, responsible for the tendency of the vapor phase to drift toward unobstructed regions; and (d) buoyancy drift, which takes into account the effect of gravity in horizontal flows. Experimental two-phase air-water data obtained using two test sections having different geometries and orientations are used to determine the diffusion coefficients required by the mixing model. Under the absence of diversion crossflow, i.e., negligible lateral pressure difference between the subchannels, it is observed that the diffusion coefficient increases with increasing average void fraction in the subchannels. Moreover, for vertical flows turbulent void diffusion seems to be considerably affected by the geometry of the subchannels. For horizontal flows under nonsymmetric inlet void fraction conditions, even though the interconnected subchannels have the same geometry, different turbulent void diffusion and void drift coefficients are required to satisfy the conditions of hydrodynamic equilibrium. In the present study this condition is achieved by introducing a new void drift coefficient expressed as a correction term applied to the turbulent void drift term.

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