Design of a Direct numerical Simulation of flow and heat transfer in a T-junction

Aniketh Ajay Kumar, Akshat Mathur*, Marc Gerritsma, Ed Komen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Several investigations have been undertaken to study the velocity and temperature fields associated with the thermal mixing between fluids, and resulting thermal striping in a T-junction. However, the available experimental databases are not sufficient to describe the involved physics in adequate detail, and, due to experimental limitations, accurate data on velocity and temperature fluctuations in regions close to the wall are not available. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can play an important role in predicting such complex flow features. However, predicting complex thermal fatigue phenomena is a challenge for the available momentum and heat flux turbulence models. Furthermore, such models need to be extensively validated. The aim of the present work is to design a reference numerical experiment for Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of a thermal fatigue scenario using Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations. First, the feasibility of scaling down the Reynolds number from experimental cases to a computationally-feasible range is investigated. The junction corner shape is also modified to a slightly rounded corner, ensuring that the underlying fundamental physical phenomena of turbulence and thermal mixing flow features are preserved. Finally, the pipe lengths of the model were calibrated to ensure there would be no interference of the upstream developing region and the outlet boundary conditions on the thermal mixing at the junction. A sample under-resolved DNS case, with unity and low-Prandtl number passive temperature scalars, with iso-temperature, iso-flux and mixed (Robin) wall boundary conditions, are presented. This proof-of-concept simulation contributes to the finalization of the set-up for fully-resolved DNS with respect to the computational grid size selection and transient characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112403
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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  • DNS
  • Mixed boundary condition
  • Nek5000
  • T-junction
  • Thermal mixing

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