Direct Numerical Simulation of the Flow in a Bare Rod Bundle at Different Prandtl Numbers

Jonathan K. Lai, Giacomo Busco, Elia Merzari, Yassin A. Hassan

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15 Scopus citations


A direct numerical simulation (DNS) of bare rod bundles with a low pitch-to-diameter ratio is performed with heat transfer at different Prandtl numbers. Turbulence statistics for temperature and velocity as well as the turbulent budgets have been collected. High-fidelity simulations are performed with the spectral element method (SEM) using Nek5000, a highly scalable code. To pertain to industrial-related flows, a rod bundle model is based on Hooper and Wood's (Hooper, J. D., and Wood, D., 1984, "Fully Developed Rod Bundle Flow Over a Large Range of Reynolds Number," Nucl. Eng. Des., 83(1), pp. 31-46) experimental setup. Both wall normalized velocity profile and turbulent kinetic energy are validated with a Reynolds number of 22,600. Kolmogorov length scales and time scales are calculated to be within the simulation's spatial-temporal resolution. Moreover, gap vortices and coherent structures are quantified by using Lambda2 vortex criterion, frequency analysis, and two-point correlation. Heat transfer statistics are discussed with a constant heat flux for six different Prandtl numbers ranging from 2 to 0.002. This range shows significantly different characteristics in temperature for both mean and variance. Mean temperature profiles in the subchannel center are very sensitive to the Prandtl number when it becomes small. It is also found that the location of the local maxima for the variance of temperature fluctuations becomes very sensitive at larger Prandtl numbers. The temperature frequency analysis reveals a shift to lower frequencies for low Prandtl numbers. The DNS results provided in this work will contribute as benchmark for the improvement and development of existing and new turbulent heat transfer models at different Prandtl number regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121702
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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