Numerical simulation of flows in tight-lattice fuel bundles

E. Merzari, H. Ninokata, E. Baglietto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The flow in tight rod bundles is characterized by long-term, large-scale coherent patterns in the stream-wise direction. In the present work, the issue of simulating these structures through unsteady CFD simulations employing periodic boundary conditions in the stream-wise direction, will be addressed. The validity of the approach is assessed through the comparison of a large eddy simulation (LES) for similar flow conditions inside a simplified geometry and experimental data. A powerful statistical tool (proper orthonormal decomposition) is used to analyze the time varying solution. The flow field has been decomposed into a series of normal modes, identifying the structures responsible for the flow transfer between sub-channels. Additional insights on the physics of these coherent structures are obtained. An unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes simulation (URANS) of the flow in a rod bundle has then been carried out. The comparison between numerical results and experimental results [Krauss, T., Meyer, L., 1998. Experimental investigation of turbulent transport of momentum and energy in a heated rod bundle. Nucl. Eng. Design 180, 185-206] proves that accuracy can be achieved for averaged statistics such as stream-wise velocity, turbulent intensity and wall shear stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1703-1719
Number of pages17
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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