Drift-flux model for upward dispersed two-phase flows in vertical medium-to-large round tubes

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104611
Journal / PublicationProgress in Nuclear Energy
Online published22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023



The void fraction prediction is critical in nuclear safety analyses. Available one-dimensional computational codes heavily depend on the two-fluid model. The interfacial drag force in the momentum equation of the two-fluid model is currently formulated using the drift-flux model. Thus, the drift-flux model is critical for advanced two-phase flow analysis computational codes. The drift-flux model is characterized by two essential parameters: the distribution parameter and the drift velocity. The distribution parameter expresses the covariance of the area-averaged product of a void fraction and mixture volumetric flux. Flow channel geometry is a significant factor affecting the distribution parameter. The drift velocity expresses the relative velocity between gas and liquid phases. A bubble shape regime affects the drift velocity. The bubble shape regime is susceptible to flow regime dependence on the bubble Reynolds number. Bubbles in a spherical or distorted particle regime (group-1 bub-bles) dominate in bubbly flow at a low void fraction, whereas bubbles in a slug or cap bubble regime (group-2 bubbles) play a critical role in beyond-bubbly flow. Whether slug bubbles or cap bubbles appear depends on the channel size. Thus, flow channel size significantly affects the drift velocity. The drift velocity dynamically changes along the two-phase flow, transforming from bubbly to beyond-bubbly flows.
The present study first formulates the evolution process of the drift velocity using the two-bubble-group approach. A two-group-based formulation is simplified to model the drift velocity behavior at the bubbly-to-beyond-bubbly flow transition. A scheme is proposed to explicitly calculate the distribution parameter and drift velocity using operating parameters. A drift-flux correlation with the new drift velocity model is evaluated by 750 data collected from 8 different sources. Tested fluid systems are nitrogen-water, air-water, and steam -water systems. Flow channel diameter ranges from 0.0508 to 0.305 m. Test section height (L)-to-channel diameter (D) ratio L/D ranges from 9.41 to 130. Superficial gas velocity is changed from 0.0100 to 11.2 m/s, whereas superficial liquid velocity is changed from 0 (pool condition) to 2.6 m/s. Operating pressure covers from 0.1 to 4.6 oa. A systematic evaluation demonstrates the validity of the newly developed drift velocity model for a wide range of test conditions. This model is simple enough to be implemented into existing one-dimensional computational codes without any substantial code architecture change. © 2023 The Authors.

Research Area(s)

  • Drift-flux model, Drift velocity, Void fraction, Interfacial drag force, Interfacial heat transfer, INTERFACIAL AREA TRANSPORT, LARGE-DIAMETER PIPE, BUBBLY FLOW, NATURAL CIRCULATION, HOLDUP, EQUATIONS, FORCE

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