An Assessment of Turbulence Models for Strongly Heated Internal Gas Flows

A.H. Richards, R.E. Spall, and D.M. McEligot (USA)


Energy Modeling, Nuclear Power, Turbulence Modeling, Cooling Systems


The energy demands of the world are continually increasing. Nuclear power is an important alternative to other current power sources, which have proven environmentally harmful. However, nuclear power development requires research on many fronts, such as improving the predictive capability of computational fluid dynamics codes for flow fields inherent in gas cooled reactor systems. Accurate predictions depend strongly on the turbulence model employed. Consequently, the objective of this paper is to assess the performance of several currently available turbulence models in predicting mean velocity and temperature distributions for dominant forced convection flows with intense boundary heating, and thus strongly varying fluid properties. In particular, six turbulence models available in the commercial CFD code FLUENT are investigated. The performance of the models is assessed against experimental data available in the literature. Comparisons between numerical and experimental results reveal that of the models tested, only the 2 -f model performed at a level that might be considered acceptable for engineering design.

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