Development of a new spacer grid pressure drop model in rod bundle for the post-dryout two-phase flow regime during reflood transients

Yue Jin, Fan Bill Cheung, Koroush Shirvan, Stephen M. Bajorek, Kirk Tien, Chris L. Hoxie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Flow blockages such as the spacer grids play an important role in a two-phase flow system as they modify the flow and heat transfer behavior. Their existence, on the one hand, increase the turbulent mixing and heat transfer capability of fluid directly downstream; while on the other hand, create additional pressure loss within the system thus requiring a detailed and comprehensive understanding. In the present work, a new two-phase flow pressure drop correlation induced by spacer grids in the dispersed flow film boiling (DFFB) regime is developed based on the unique reflood experimental data obtained from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Pennsylvania State University rod bundle heat transfer test facility. The test conditions cover wide ranges of system parameters for two-phase flow system which can be used for model development. It is found that the most dominating system parameter is the mixture mass flow rate across the spacer grid location. As a result, the spacer grid loss coefficient is correlated with the mixture Reynolds number and a blockage geometry correction factor. The current correlation is found to significantly improve the prediction of the spacer grid pressure drop in the DFFB regime generally within a 25% error span, while the other exiting correlations failed to capture the two-phase flow hydraulic behavior involved during the reflood transients. The current correlation developed can be readily implemented into existing thermal-hydraulic analysis codes to further improve their prediction capabilities in the DFFB regime with the presence of flow blockages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110815
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering


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