Investigating the advantages and disadvantages of realistic approach and porous approach for closely packed pebbles in CFD simulation

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  • C. Y. Wu
  • Y. M. Ferng
  • C. C. Chieng
  • C. C. Liu


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1159
Journal / PublicationNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


A pebble bed geometry is usually adopted for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs), which exhibits inherently safe performance, high conversion efficiency, and low power density design. It is important to understand the thermal-hydraulic characteristics of HTGR core for optimum design and safe operation. Therefore, this study investigates the thermal-hydraulic behaviors in a segment of pebbles predicted by the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model using porous and realistic approaches for the complicated geometry. The advantages of each approach's methodology for the closely packed pebble geometry can be revealed by comparing the calculated results. In an engineering application, a CFD simulation with the porous approach for the pebble geometry can quickly and reasonably capture the averaged behaviors of the thermal-hydraulic parameters as the gas flows through the core, including the pressure drop and temperature increase. However, it is necessary to utilize the realistic approach for this complicated geometry to obtain the detailed and localized characteristics within the fluid and solid fuel regions. The present simulation results can provide useful information to help CFD researchers to determine an appropriate approach to be used when investigating the thermal-hydraulic characteristics within the reactor core of a closely packed pebble bed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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