Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: CFD and turbulence modelling for nuclear plant thermal-hydraulics systems
Author: Tunstall, Ryan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 5224
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Thermal stripping is a major safety challenge in nuclear power generation and propulsion systems. It arises as a consequence of the heat transfer from fluid to surrounding solid components varying in time and typically occurs in regions where the mixing of hot and cold fluids results in turbulent temperature fluctuations. It can occur in a range of components in reactors and thermal-hydraulics systems and may lead to structural failure by high-cycle thermal fatigue. Cases of cooling system pipes failing by this mechanism have been reported at the French Civaux and the Japanese Tsuruga-2 & Tomari-2 pressurised water reactor plants. CFD has great potential to provide predictions for flow fields in the pipe bends and junctions of nuclear plant thermal-hydraulics systems. The current project aims to use CFD to explore the physics of thermal mixing in plant components, and to develop \& validate CFD techniques for studying such problems in industry. Firstly, wall-resolved LES is used to demonstrate the importance of including nearby upstream pipe bends in CFD studies of thermal mixing in T-junctions. Swirl-switching of the Dean vortices generated at an upstream bend can give rise to an unsteady secondary flow about the pipe axis. This provides an additional mechanism for low-frequency near-wall temperature fluctuations downstream of the T-junction, over those that would be produced by mixing in the same T-junction with straight inlets. Wall-resolved LES is however currently computationally unaffordable for studying plant components in industry. Wall-functions offer a solution to this problem by imposing empirical results near walls, such that a coarser grid can be used. LES with blended wall-function predictions for flows in a 90 degree pipe bend and a simple T-junction with straight inlets are compared to experimental data. These studies highlight limitations in the predictive capabilities of the LES with wall-function approach. Predictions from a number of RANS models are also benchmarked. Finally, the consistent dual-mesh hybrid LES/RANS framework proposed by Xiao and Jenny (2012) is further developed as an alternative solution to the high computational cost of wall-resolved LES. Numerous modifications to the coupling between the two meshes are presented, which improve automation and accuracy. The approach is also extended to a passive temperature scalar field. Predictions for channel flows, a flow through periodic hills and thermal mixing in a T-junction between channel flows are all in excellent agreement with reference data.
Supervisor: Laurence, Dominique ; Prosser, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hybrid LES/RANS ; LES ; CFD ; Turbulence Modelling ; Thermal-Hyrdaulics