Mach Number Estimation and Pressure Profile Measurements of Expanding Dense Organic Vapors

Adam J. Head*, Theodoros Michelis, Fabio Beltrame, Blanca Fuentes-Monjas, Emiliano Casati, Carlo De Servi, Piero Colonna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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This paper describes an experiment conducted within the nozzle test section of the Organic Rankine Cycle Hybrid Integrated Device (ORCHID) aimed at providing accurate data for the validation of NICFD flow solvers [5]. A supersonic flow of the dense vapor siloxane MM established in the nozzle of the setup was characterized by means of the schlieren technique and by pressure taps along the nozzle profile. The nozzle inlet conditions corresponded to a stagnation temperature and pressure of T0=253∘C and P0=18.36bara. At these inlet conditions, the compressibility factor of the fluid is Z0= 0.58. The nozzle backpressure was equal to Pb=2.2bara. The experimental data-set includes: 1) the average mid-plane local Mach number, which was derived from the schlieren images by estimating the angle of the Mach waves originating from the roughness of the upper and lower nozzle surfaces, 2) the angle of a shock wave generated by a 5 wedge placed at the nozzle exit, also detectable in the schlieren images, and 3) the static pressure distribution along the flow expansion acquired with a Scanivalve DSA3218 pressure scanner device. The Mach number at the nozzle exit estimated based on the schlieren images is M= 1.95 ± 0.05, very close to the expected value of M= 2 according to the design conditions of the experiment. The static pressure measurements have a maximum absolute uncertainty amounting to ± 1.80 kPa in the initial stages of the expansion. This information was used to assess the capability of the open-source SU2 flow solver in evaluating the NICFD effects in a supersonic flow of MM when the fluid thermodynamic properties are modeled with a cubic equation of state. For this purpose, two-dimensional Euler simulations were carried out with SU2 for the operating conditions achieved in the experiment. The numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental data. The largest deviation between the simulation and experiment is observed in the nozzle uniform region, where two dips in the Mach number occur due to a slight local decrease in flow velocity owing to two weak shock waves. The shock wave generated by the wedge located at the nozzle outlet propagates with two different angles, namely, βabove= 37. 6± 0.86, and βbelow= 31. 6± 0.64, due to the axial misalignment of the wedge with respect to the flow.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationERCOFTAC Series
EditorsM. White
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-301-30936-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1382-4309
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1826

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • data processing
  • error identification and uncertainty estimation
  • Schlieren measurements

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