S. N. Tripathi


2 Study on Aerosol Behavior in Piping Assembly under Varying Flow Conditions

Authors: B. K. Sapra, Gaurav Mishra, S. N. Tripathi, Manish Joshi, Arshad Khan, Anubhav Kumar Dwivedi, Dinesh Nath, Naveen Tiwari


In a nuclear reactor accident scenario, a large number of fission products may release to the piping system of the primary heat transport. The released fission products, mostly in the form of the aerosol, get deposited on the inner surface of the piping system mainly due to gravitational settling and thermophoretic deposition. The removal processes in the complex piping system are controlled to a large extent by the thermal-hydraulic conditions like temperature, pressure, and flow rates. These parameters generally vary with time and therefore must be carefully monitored to predict the aerosol behavior in the piping system. The removal process of aerosol depends on the size of particles that determines how many particles get deposit or travel across the bends and reach to the other end of the piping system. The released aerosol gets deposited onto the inner surface of the piping system by various mechanisms like gravitational settling, Brownian diffusion, thermophoretic deposition, and by other deposition mechanisms. To quantify the correct estimate of deposition, the identification and understanding of the aforementioned deposition mechanisms are of great importance. These mechanisms are significantly affected by different flow and thermodynamic conditions. Thermophoresis also plays a significant role in particle deposition. In the present study, a series of experiments were performed in the piping system of the National Aerosol Test Facility (NATF), BARC using metal aerosols (zinc) in dry environments to study the spatial distribution of particles mass and number concentration, and their depletion due to various removal mechanisms in the piping system. The experiments were performed at two different carrier gas flow rates. The commercial CFD software FLUENT is used to determine the distribution of temperature, velocity, pressure, and turbulence quantities in the piping system. In addition to the in-built models for turbulence, heat transfer and flow in the commercial CFD code (FLUENT), a new sub-model PBM (population balance model) is used to describe the coagulation process and to compute the number concentration along with the size distribution at different sections of the piping. In the sub-model coagulation kernels are incorporated through user-defined function (UDF). The experimental results are compared with the CFD modeled results. It is found that most of the Zn particles (more than 35 %) deposit near the inlet of the plenum chamber and a low deposition is obtained in piping sections. The MMAD decreases along the length of the test assembly, which shows that large particles get deposited or removed in the course of flow, and only fine particles travel to the end of the piping system. The effect of a bend is also observed, and it is found that the relative loss in mass concentration at bends is more in case of a high flow rate. The simulation results show that the thermophoresis and depositional effects are more dominating for the small and larger sizes as compared to the intermediate particles size. Both SEM and XRD analysis of the collected samples show the samples are highly agglomerated non-spherical and composed mainly of ZnO. The coupled model framed in this work could be used as an important tool for predicting size distribution and concentration of some other aerosol released during a reactor accident scenario.

Keywords: CFD, Coagulation, Aerosol, Deposition

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1 Development and Experimental Validation of Coupled Flow-Aerosol Microphysics Model for Hot Wire Generator

Authors: B. K. Sapra, Y. S. Mayya, K. Ghosh, S. N. Tripathi, Manish Joshi, Arshad Khan


We have developed a CFD coupled aerosol microphysics model in the context of aerosol generation from a glowing wire. The governing equations can be solved implicitly for mass, momentum, energy transfer along with aerosol dynamics. The computationally efficient framework can simulate temporal behavior of total number concentration and number size distribution. This formulation uniquely couples standard K-Epsilon scheme with boundary layer model with detailed aerosol dynamics through residence time. This model uses measured temperatures (wire surface and axial/radial surroundings) and wire compositional data apart from other usual inputs for simulations. The model predictions show that bulk fluid motion and local heat distribution can significantly affect the aerosol behavior when the buoyancy effect in momentum transfer is considered. Buoyancy generated turbulence was found to be affecting parameters related to aerosol dynamics and transport as well. The model was validated by comparing simulated predictions with results obtained from six controlled experiments performed with a laboratory-made hot wire nanoparticle generator. Condensation particle counter (CPC) and scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) were used for measurement of total number concentration and number size distribution at the outlet of reactor cell during these experiments. Our model-predicted results were found to be in reasonable agreement with observed values. The developed model is fast (fully implicit) and numerically stable. It can be used specifically for applications in the context of the behavior of aerosol particles generated from glowing wire technique and in general for other similar large scale domains. Incorporation of CFD in aerosol microphysics framework provides a realistic platform to study natural convection driven systems/ applications. Aerosol dynamics sub-modules (nucleation, coagulation, wall deposition) have been coupled with Navier Stokes equations modified to include buoyancy coupled K-Epsilon turbulence model. Coupled flow-aerosol dynamics equation was solved numerically and in the implicit scheme. Wire composition and temperature (wire surface and cell domain) were obtained/measured, to be used as input for the model simulations. Model simulations showed a significant effect of fluid properties on the dynamics of aerosol particles. The role of buoyancy was highlighted by observation and interpretation of nucleation zones in the planes above the wire axis. The model was validated against measured temporal evolution, total number concentration and size distribution at the outlet of hot wire generator cell. Experimentally averaged and simulated total number concentrations were found to match closely, barring values at initial times. Steady-state number size distribution matched very well for sub 10 nm particle diameters while reasonable differences were noticed for higher size ranges. Although tuned specifically for the present context (i.e., aerosol generation from hotwire generator), the model can also be used for diverse applications, e.g., emission of particles from hot zones (chimneys, exhaust), fires and atmospheric cloud dynamics.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, CFD, buoyancy, k-epsilon model, hot wire generator, aerosol dynamics

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