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Numerical Computation of Heat Transfer Enhancement of a PWR Rod Bundle with Mixing Vane Spacers

Wang-Kee In, Tae-Hyun Chun, Chang-Hwan Shin, Dong-Seok Oh

Nuclear Technology

Volume 161 / Number 1 / January 2008 / Pages 69-79


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A series of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations has been conducted to analyze the heat transfer enhancement in a fully heated rod bundle with mixing-vane spacers. The predicted Nusselt numbers downstream of the split-vane spacer are compared with the available experimental measurements and with correlation. The CFD calculations at Re = 28000 and 42000 showed a lower heat transfer enhancement close to the space grid but a good agreement of the decay rate with the fully heated experimental data at ~6Dh downstream of the grid. The CFD simulations also showed a maximum enhancement of the heat transfer at 6 to 7Dh downstream of the split-vane spacer due to the multiple vortices predicted near the spacer. In addition, the present paper compares the thermal-hydraulic performance of two different mixing vane spacers, i.e., a split-vane spacer and a hybrid-vane spacer, based on CFD simulations at a pressurized water reactor's operating conditions. The split vane is predicted to have a higher overall heat transfer enhancement but a lower local heat transfer far downstream of the spacer where the minimum departure from nucleate boiling ratio is anticipated.

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