Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Validation of Pronghorn friction-dominated porous media thermal-hydraulics model with the SANA experiments

  • Author(s): Novak, AJ
  • Peterson, JW
  • Zou, L
  • Andrš, D
  • Slaybaugh, RN
  • Martineau, RC
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier B.V. A significant challenge in the core modeling of pebble bed reactors (PBRs) is the complex fuel-coolant structure. At the expense of approximating local flow and heat transfer effects, porous media models can provide medium-fidelity predictions of complicated thermal-fluid systems with significantly less computational cost than high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models. This paper presents a new porous media code, Pronghorn – a fast-running core simulator intended to accelerate the design and analysis cycle for PBRs and provide boundary conditions for systems-level analysis. This paper describes the physical models in Pronghorn and demonstrates the capability of a friction-dominated model for predicting gas-cooled PBR decay heat removal by presenting simulation results for all 52 of the steady-state axisymmetric German SANA experiments, which include two different fluids and three different types of pebbles. The pebble temperature in all 52 cases is predicted with a mean error (predicted minus experimental) of +22.6 °C with standard deviation of 54.6 °C. To demonstrate Pronghorn's capability for modeling bed-to-plenum heat and mass transfer, one open-plenum SANA experimental case is also simulated. A code-to-code comparison with Flownex and GAMMA shows that Pronghorn is comparable in accuracy to other porous media simulation tools, with the additional advantages of 1) an arbitrary equation of state; 2) 3-D unstructured mesh capabilities; and 3) multiphysics coupling to other Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) applications. Finally, the effect of several porous media closure selections, in particular the porosity, the near-wall treatment for effective solid thermal conductivity, the interphase drag and heat transfer, and the fluid thermal dispersion, on temperature predictions are quantified.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View