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Research Papers

A Blind, Numerical Benchmark Study on Supercritical Water Heat Transfer Experiments in a 7-Rod Bundle

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Rohde

Delft University of Technology,
Mekelweg 15, Delft 2629 JB, The Netherlands
e-mail: m.rohde@tudelft.nl

J. W. R. Peeters

Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 15, Delft 2629 JB, The Netherlands

A. Pucciarelli

University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 2, 56126 Pisa, Italy

A. Kiss

BME NTI, Muegyetem rkp. 9 R bld. 317/7a, Budapest 1111, Hungary

Y. F. Rao, E. N. Onder

CNL, 286 Plant Road, Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0, Canada

P. Muehlbauer

Research Centre Rez Ltd., Hlavní 130, Rez 250 68, Czech Republic

A. Batta, M. Hartig

KIT-IKET, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Karlsruhe 76344, Germany

V. Chatoorgoon

University of Manitoba, 75A Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada

R. Thiele

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden

D. Chang, S. Tavoularis

University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON K1N6N5, Canada

D. Novog, D. McClure

McMaster University, Somestreet 1, Hamilton, ON 333AS, Canada

M. Gradecka

Warsaw University of Technology, ul. nowowiejska 21/25, Warsaw 00665, Poland

K. Takase

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 2-4 Shirakata, Tokai, Naka Ibaraki, Ibaraki-ken 319-1195, Japan

Manuscript received July 08, 2015; final manuscript received November 02, 2015; published online February 29, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 2(2), 021012 (Feb 29, 2016) (12 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1156; doi: 10.1115/1.4031949 History: Received July 08, 2015; Accepted November 02, 2015

Heat transfer in supercritical water reactors (SCWRs) shows a complex behavior, especially when the temperatures of the water are near the pseudocritical value. For example, a significant deterioration of heat transfer may occur, resulting in unacceptably high cladding temperatures. The underlying physics and thermodynamics behind this behavior are not well understood yet. To assist the worldwide development in SCWRs, it is therefore of paramount importance to assess the limits and capabilities of currently available models, despite the fact that most of these models were not meant to describe supercritical heat transfer (SCHT). For this reason, the Gen-IV International Forum initiated the present blind, numerical benchmark, primarily aiming to show the predictive ability of currently available models when applied to a real-life application with flow conditions that resemble those of an SCWR. This paper describes the outcomes of ten independent numerical investigations and their comparison with wall temperatures measured at different positions in a 7-rod bundle with spacer grids in a supercritical water test facility at JAEA. The wall temperatures were not known beforehand to guarantee the blindness of the study. A number of models have been used, ranging from a one-dimensional (1-D) analytical approach with heat transfer correlations to a RANS simulation with the SST turbulence model on a mesh consisting of 62 million cells. None of the numerical simulations accurately predicted the wall temperature for the test case in which deterioration of heat transfer occurred. Furthermore, the predictive capabilities of the subchannel analysis were found to be comparable to those of more laborious approaches. It has been concluded that predictions of SCHT in rod bundles with the help of currently available numerical tools and models should be treated with caution.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Top-down view of the rod bundle geometry and its spacer configuration. (a) Cross-sectional image of the 7-rod bundle. Picture taken from Misawa et al. [12]. (b) Spacer that holds the seven rods apart. Note the small, skew wires (indicated by Y) that keep the rods apart from the honeycomb structure.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Locations of the thermocouples on each separate heating rod. (a) Axial and (b) azimuthal. The open circles on rod F in (b) indicate the ones that are not used in this study.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Experimentally obtained rod surface temperatures located at the gap and center regions. The left figures represent case B1 (low inlet temperature, low power), the right ones case B2 (high inlet temperature, high power). The angles indicate the angular location of the thermocouple with respect to the rod. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Rod surface temperatures located at the gap and center regions. The left figures represent case B1 (low inlet temperature, low power), the right ones case B2 (high inlet temperature, high power). The gray squares show all numerical results for all gap-facing locations; the other symbols indicate measured wall temperatures. The black, dashed line is a polynomial fit of the numerical results. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Relative average errors with respect to the experiments in cases B1 (low inlet temperature, low power) and B2 (high inlet temperature, high power). The error is normalized by the difference between the calculated local wall temperature and local bulk temperature. The dashed line indicates the average error of all numerical contributions. Note that KIT-IKET did not perform calculations on case B1.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Comparison of rod surface temperatures for case B2 (high inlet temperature, high power) obtained by RANS calculations with large grids (UMan: 756M; UOttawa: 372M), medium grids (CVREZ: 67M; BME NTI: 42M), and a small grid (KIT-IKET: 18M). These grid sizes are adjusted to the entire circumferential domain. The gray squares indicate the experimental data in the regions concerned. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Comparison of rod surface temperatures obtained by a 1-D approach (CNL, TUD) and RANS calculations with large grids (UMan, UOttawa: 62M). Note that the lateral discretization by CNL into four subchannels results in wall temperatures facing the center only (right figure). The gray squares indicate the experimental data in the regions concerned. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K. The data refer to case B2 (high inlet temperature, high power).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Comparison of rod surface temperatures obtained by RANS and RANS k–ω calculations. Two organizations (KIT-IKET and UPisa) applied both models and are therefore more suitable for comparison. Note that UPisa applied a much larger grid than KIT-IKET. The gray squares indicate the experimental data in the regions concerned. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K. The data refer to case B2 (high inlet temperature, high power).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Effect of CHT and FSI. All data refer to case B2 (high-inlet temperature, high power). (a) Circumferential temperature profile (in K) of rod G for case 1 (w/o CHT and FSI), case 2 (with CHT and w/o FSI), and case 3 (with CHT and FSI) as indicated in Table 2 at the outlet of the domain. The three cases refer to KITIKET((k–ϵ))(B2). The azimuthal coordinate corresponds to Fig. 3, hence rod G is facing rod A at θ=90  deg⁡. (b) Comparison of rod surface temperatures in the gap region obtained by RANS k–ω calculations with CHT (BME NTI) and without CHT (KTH). The average grid resolution is roughly comparable, i.e., BME NTI applied 14M cells in a 1/3 domain, and KTH applied 28M cells in the entire domain. The gray squares indicate the experimental data in the regions concerned. The gray, dashed line indicates the pseudocritical temperature of 658 K.

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