Dense-vapor effects in compressible internal flows

Francesco Tosto, Claudio Lettieri, Matteo Pini*, Piero Colonna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Paradigmatic compressible one-dimensional flows provide insights regarding the loss mechanisms of fluid machinery components typical of power and propulsion systems, like turbomachines and heat exchangers. Their performance also depends on the working fluid, thus, on both molecular complexity and thermodynamic state. Four typical flow configurations have been investigated, namely, Rayleigh and Fanno flows, mixing of two co-flowing streams, and flow injection into a mainstream. It was found that the Grüneisen parameter allows the quantitative characterization of the influence of molecular complexity on losses. Moreover, the influence of dense vapor effects has been evaluated and assessed in terms of other fluid parameters. The analysis allowed the quantification of how, in Rayleigh flows, the energy transferred as heat is converted into kinetic and internal energy of the fluid, and, in Fanno flows, entropy is generated due to friction. In Rayleigh flow, the fluid at the inlet of the channel must have more energy for the flow to choke, depending on the molecular complexity. Similarly, in Fanno flows and for a given value of the compressibility factor, molecular complexity determines the choking point in the channel, and the higher its value the further downstream is the location. Moreover, for both Fanno and Rayleigh flows, if the flow is subsonic and dense vapor effects are relevant, the Mach number varies non-monotonically along the channel. Finally, it was proven that the amount of entropy generated in mixing flows increases with both the fluid molecular complexity and with the thermodynamic non-ideality of the fluid states.

Original languageEnglish
Article number086110
Number of pages23
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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