Large eddy simulation of particulate flow inside a differentially heated cavity
In nuclear safety, some severe accident scenarios lead to the presence of fission products in aerosol form in the closed containment atmosphere. It is important to understand the particle depletion process to estimate the risk of a release of radioactivity to the environment should a containment break occur. As a model for the containment, we use the three-dimensional differentially heated cavity problem. The differentially heated cavity is a cubical box with a hot wall and a cold wall on vertical opposite sides. On the other walls of the cube we have adiabatic boundary conditions. For the velocity field the no-slip boundary condition is applied. The flow of the air in the cavity is described by the Boussinesq equations. The method used to simulate the turbulent flow is the large eddy simulation (LES) where the dynamics of the large eddies is resolved by the computational grid and the small eddies are modelled by the introduction of subgrid scale quantities using a filter function. Particle trajectories are computed using the Lagrangian particle tracking method, including the relevant forces (drag, gravity, thermophoresis). Four different sets with each set containing one million particles and diameters of 10 mu m, 15 mu m, 25 mu m and 35 mu m are simulated. Simulation results for the flow field and particle sizes from 15 mu m to 35 mu m are compared to previous results from direct numerical simulation (DNS). The integration time of the LES is three times longer and the smallest particles have been simulated only in the LES. Particle statistics in the LES and the DNS were similar and the settling rates were practically identical. It was found that for this type of flow no model was necessary for the influence of the unresolved flow scales on the particle motions. This can be explained by the dominant nature of gravity settling compared to turbophoresis which is negligible for the particle sizes of the present study. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.