Two-Phase Flow Within Narrow Annuli
Dillon, Chad Michael
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A study of two-phase flow in annular channels with annular gaps of less than 1 mm is useful for the design and safety analysis of high power density systems such as accelerator targets and nuclear reactor cores. Though much work has been done on pressure drop in two-phase flow, designers rely mostly on empirical models and correlations; hence, it is valuable to study their applicability for different channel sizes, geometries, and gas qualities. The pressure drop along a concentric annular test section was measured for cases of either constant quality or variable quality along its length (such as in sub-cooled and flow boiling). A porous tube was used to inject gas along the inner surface of the annular channel, thereby simulating the case of flow boiling along the inner surface. The data were compared to predictions of various models and correlations. Additionally, the effect of wall vibrations on the pressure drop was examined. Experiments were conducted by imposing vibrations of known amplitudes and frequencies on the outer tube of the annulus. Wall vibrations were thought to be important for flow in microchannels where the vibration amplitudes may be significant compared to the channel hydraulic diameter. The results obtained in this investigation indicate that the pressure drop correlation given by Beattie and Whalley provides the best agreement with the data for both porous tube gas injection (i.e. variable quality) and constant quality two-phase flow within the narrow annulus. Furthermore, the results show that there is a minimal effect of vibrations on two-phase pressure drop over the range of frequencies and amplitudes studied.