Flow regime transition criteria for co-current downward two-phase flow


Downward two-phase flow is observed in light water reactor accident scenarios such as loss of coolant accident (LOCA) and loss of heat sink accident (LOHS) due to loss of feed water or a secondary pipe break, and so, it is vital to have a thorough understanding of the flow mechanisms and regimes. With this point of view, flow regime transition criteria for vertical downward flow for a range of pipe diameters of 24 – 101.6 mm has been developed. Several models looked at the radial distribution of the bubbles and the wake effect of leading bubbles while others looked into the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability seen at the gas-liquid interface.

The newly developed criteria have been compared to flow regime maps obtained via subjective and objective means, consisting of air-water data at atmospheric conditions as well as at an elevated pressure of 0.2 MPa. The new model is also compared to flow regime maps developed with different inlet conditions. Overall, the present model showed good agreements with the available data, with the exception of several 50.8 mm ID flow regime maps of different inlet conditions as well as a self-organizing neural network. This study also highlights the need for a more objective and consistent flow regime map data for large diameter pipes, the identification of cap-bubbly and churn-turbulent flows in these maps, and the deviations observed between a supervised and self-organizing neural network (SONN).

Progress in Nuclear Energy
Manojkumar Lokanathan
Manojkumar Lokanathan
Research Scientist in Thermal Fluids Sciences

Manoj is a research scientist at C-Crete Technologies and has a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. His research expertise encompasses the fields of power electronics management, two-phase flow, thermal sciences, microfluidics, emulsion chemistry, surface sciences and machine learning.