Proper orthogonal decomposition of the flow in a tight lattice rod-bundle

Elia Merzari, H. Ninokata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Axial coolant flow inside a tightly packed rod bundle presents a complex behavior; experimental analysis had clearly shown that when reducing the pitch-to-diameter ratio (P/D) the turbulence field in rod bundles deviates significantly from that in a circular tube. Moreover for extremely tight configurations the existence of large-scale periodic "flow oscillations" has been shown, which is responsible for the high inter-sub-channel heat and momentum exchange. A complete understanding of these oscillations has still to be achieved; the evidence shown to this point suggests that the oscillations are connected to interactions between coherent structures in adjacent sub-channels. Moreover, the coherent structures show a truly three-dimensional pattern (i.e.; structures in different gaps tend to interact) that has not been fully investigated up to this point. A fully transient simulation of turbulence has been performed for an infinite tight triangular lattice. In this case it has been performed with Large Eddy Simulation (LES) at Re = 6400 and P/D = 1.05. A database of snapshots of the flow field has then been collected and proper orthogonal decomposition (POD), a powerful statistical technique, has been applied in order to obtain the most energetic modes of turbulence. The results obtained highlight the presence of several travelling waves propagating in the streamwise direction. The spatial modulation of the travelling waves offers a phenomenological explanation for observed de-coherence effects between the velocity signal in different gaps. It also provides additional insight into the three dimensional structure of the flow oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4621-4632
Number of pages12
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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