Bubbly-to-cap bubbly flow transition in a long-26m vertical large diameter pipe at low liquid flow rate

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Volume52
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

The concurrent upward two-phase flow of air and water in a long vertical large diameter pipe with an inner diameter (D) of 200. mm and a height (z) of 26. m (z/. D= 130) was investigated experimentally at low superficial liquid velocities from 0.05009 to 0.3121. m/s and the superficial gas velocities from 0.01779 to 0.5069. m/s. The resultant void fractions range from 0.03579 to 0.4059. According to the observations using a high speed video camera, the flow regimes of bubbly, developing cap bubbly and fully-developed cap bubbly flows prevailed in the flows. The developing cap bubbly flow appeared as a flow regime transition from bubbly to fully-developed cap bubble flow in the vertical large diameter pipe. The developing cap bubbly flow changes gradually and lasts for a long time period and a wide axial region in the flow direction, in contrast to a sudden transition from bubbly to slug flows in a small diameter pipe. The analysis in this study showed that the flow regime transition depends not only on the void fraction but also on the axial distance in the flow and the pipe diameter. The axial flow development brings about the transition to happen in a lower void fraction flow and the increase of pipe diameter causes the transition to happen in a higher void fraction flow. The measured void fraction showed an N-shaped axial changing manner that the void fraction increases monotonously with axial position in the bubbly flow, decreases non-monotonously with axial position in the developing cap bubbly flow, and increases monotonously again with axial position in the fully-developed cap bubbly flow. The temporary void fraction decrease phenomenon in the transition region from bubbly to cap bubbly flow can be attributed to the formation of medium to large cap bubbles and their gradual growth into the maximum size of cap bubble and/or cluster of large cap bubbles in the developing cap bubbly flow. In order to predict the N-shaped axial void fraction changing behaviors in the flow regime transition from bubbly to cap bubbly flow, the existing 12 drift flux correlation sets for large diameter pipes are reviewed and their predictabilities are studied against the present experimental data. Although some drift flux correlation sets, such as those of Clark and Flemmer (1986) and Hibiki and Ishii (2003), can predict the present experimental data with reasonable average relative deviations, no drift flux correlation set for distribution parameter and drift velocity can give a reliable prediction for the observed N-shaped axial void fraction changing behaviors in the region from bubbly to cap bubbly flow in a vertical large diameter pipe.

Research Area(s)

  • Evaluation of drift flux correlations, Flow regime transition from bubbly to cap bubbly flow, Local void fraction measurement, Long vertical large diameter pipe, Low liquid flow rate, N-shaped axial void fraction change

Bibliographic Note

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