Numerical investigation of spatial-developing turbulent heat transfer in forced convections at different supercritical pressures

Jiaming Liu, Pinghui Zhao, Mingzhun Lei, Suo Yang, Hassan Nemati

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Direct numerical simulations have been adopted to study the turbulent heat transfer in forced convections of supercritical water at two different supercritical pressures P=23 MPa and P=25 MPa in a heated pipe with constant wall heat flux and a bulk Reynolds number of Re0=5400. The present study aims to reveal the mechanisms of turbulent heat transfer of superciritical fluids at different pressures in a spatial-developing flow. The results show that at the smaller pressure ratio Pr=P/Pc, where Pc is the critical pressure, the property variations become more drastic, and both the skin friction coefficient and Nusselt number become smaller. The decompositions of skin friction and Nusselt number show that it is mainly due to the large turbulence reduction along the streamwise direction. The analyses of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), the turbulent shear stress, and the production of TKE confirm this point. Moreover, it was found that the thermophysical property fluctuations are very large and significantly influence the turbulent statistics in the supercritical fluid flows. Due to the large property fluctuations, it was found that the density-fluctuation-related terms are significant and their values are actually comparable to the mean-density-related terms. Due to their negative contributions to turbulent shear stress and turbulent heat flux, the turbulence and heat transfer are severely attenuated by the large thermophysical property fluctuations. For near-wall scaling in spatial-developing flows at supercritical pressures, the semi-local velocity transformation with a semi-local coordinate shows a better agreement in the logarithmic region. However, a clear deviation still exists, especially for mean temperature because all the transformations only incorporate the local mean property variations and cannot consider their fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120128
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Spatial-developing flow
  • Supercritical pressure
  • Turbulent heat transfer

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