Title page for ETD etd-01092012-145824

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Clark, Randy Raymond
URN etd-01092012-145824
Title Modeling Two-Phase Flow in the Downcomer of a Once-Through Steam Generator using RELAP5/MOD2
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kornhauser, Alan A. Committee Chair
Pierson, Mark A. Committee Member
Tafti, Danesh K. Committee Member
  • Thermohydraulics
  • Two-Phase Flow
  • Steam Generator
Date of Defense 2011-12-07
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study is to develop an accurate model of the downcomer of the once-through steam generator (OTSG) developed by Babcock & Wilcox, using RELAP5/MOD2. While the physical model can be easily developed, several parameters are left to be adjusted to optimally model the downcomer and match data that was retrieved in a first-of-a-kind (FOAK) study conducted at Oconee Unit I in Oconee, South Carolina. Once the best-fit set of parameters has been determined, then the model must be tested for power levels exceeding that for which the steam generator was originally designed, so as to determine the power level at which a phenomenon known as flood-back becomes a concern.

All known previous studies that have been conducted using RELAP5/MOD2 have shown that RELAP over-predicts interphase friction. However, all of those studies focused on heated two-phase upflow, whereas the downcomer is modeled as adiabatic two-phase downflow. In this study, it is found that the original slug drag model for RELAP5/MOD2 developed by Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) under-predicts the interphase friction between the liquid and vapor phase within the downcomer. Using a modified version of the original slug drag model created by Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), an optimum multiplier is found for each power level. An increase of 1181% in interphase friction over the INEL slug drag model, which equals an increase of 4347% for the default B&W model provides the most accurate results for all power levels studied.

Emphasis is also placed on modeling the orifice plate of the OTSG downcomer which has been added to stabilize pressure fluctuations between the downcomer and tube bundle of the OTSG. While several different schemes are explored for modeling the orifice plate, a branch connection with an inlet area 14.22% of that of the downcomer is used to model the orifice plate along with the volume that transitions the two-phase downflow to horizontal flow into the tube nest of the OTSG.

Power levels exceeding that for which the steam generator was designed are tested in RELAP using the slug drag multiplier to determine at which power level a liquid level would occur and would flood-back become a concern. In this study, it is determined that a liquid level would form at 135% power and that at any higher power level, flood-back would be of concern for any user of the steam generator.

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