Numerical Simulation of Isothermal Flow Across Slant Five-Tube Bundle with Spectral Element Method Code Nek5000

Mustafa Alper Yildiz, Haomin Yuan, Elia Merzari, Yassin Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The helical coil steam generator (HCSG) is a specific type of shell-and-tube heat exchanger known for having a higher heat transfer coefficient than many other designs. For this reason, they are considered in small modular reactor and high temperature reactor designs. Investigation of flow behavior in HCSGs is important for better design. In this paper we present our study for modeling the coolant flow in the primary side of the HCSG. We used Nek5000, an open source, high-order spectral element computational fluid dynamics code developed in Argonne National Laboratory. Nek5000 accepts only hexahedral mesh, which makes the meshing process for the complicated HCSG geometry very challenging. A tetrahedral-to-hexahedral meshing strategy was applied to bypass the geometric complexities. In this study large eddy simulation (LES) was performed at the Reynolds number of 9000 based on the inlet velocity and the tube diameter. The employed subgrid-scale model for LES relies on explicit filtering. First- and second-order statistics were compared to available experimental data. Overall velocity and turbulent kinetic energy showed good agreement with particle image velocimetry data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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