IJTP Home · Issue Contents

The Onset of Nucleate Boiling Prediction in a Mini Channel with the Eulerian Multiphase Flow
K. Han and B. Hardy

The prediction of boiling incipience is a critical issue for a reactor. Vapor lock causes operating instability and undesirable temperature rise, especially for small channels. This study uses the Eulerian multiphase flow boiling model to predict the onset of nucleate boiling in a millimeter scale rectangular channel. Two wall boiling models, namely the RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and the non-equilibrium sub-cooled model are applied. Computational fluid dynamics is employed for this study to investigate the impact of operating conditions like liquid flow rate, operating pressure, heat flux, velocity profile, turbulence model, and inlet liquid temperature. The effect of fundamental boiling parameters on the surface wall temperature and vapor volume fraction is also studied. The parameters under consideration are the bubble departure diameter, bubble departure frequency, nucleate site density, quenching time period, and interface heat transfer coefficients. A series of CFD calculations is conducted by varying the considered variables systematically in a wide range of flow conditions covering laminar, transition, and turbulent flows. The sub-component heat fluxes like the liquid convective, the vapor convective, the evaporative, and the quenching terms are monitored to infer the boiling dynamics in the transition region from the single-phase flow to the nucleate boiling zone. It is found that the CFD approach to detecting the boiling incipience point agrees reasonably with available experimental data. However, its limitations, like inaccuracy for lower flow rates and early transition to boiling flow, are also noticed due to the nature of the considered RPI model.

Keywords: ONB, Eulerian multiphase flow, Nucleate Boiling, Mini channel, CFD, RPI model

Full Text (IP)