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Numerical modelling of an air-helium buoyant jet in a two vented enclosure

Abstract : We present numerical results from large eddy simulations (LES) and coarse direct numerical simulations (DNS) of an air-helium buoyant jet rising in a two vented cavity. The geometrical configuration mimics the helium release experimental set-up studied at CEA Saclay in the framework of security assessment of hydrogen-based systems with an indoor usage. The dimension of the enclosure was chosen to ensure a laminar-turbulent transition occurring at about the middle height of the cavity. This study focuses mainly on three key points : the influence of the boundary conditions on the jet development and its interaction with the exterior environment, the validity of the numerical model which is analyzed by comparing the numerical velocity distribution versus the measured particle image velocimetry (PIV) ones, and finally understanding the distribution of air-helium and the stratification phenomenon that takes place inside the cavity. We observe at first that applying constant pressure outlet boundary conditions directly at the vent surfaces underestimates the volumetric flow rate of air entering the enclosure and thus overestimate the helium mass inside the cavity. On the contrary, modelling an exterior region in the computational domain better predicts the air flow-rate entrance and numerical results matches better with the experimental PIV data. It has been figured out that the coarse DNS predictions match better with the velocities PIV measurements, compared to the LES. Numerical prediction of the helium field depicts a homogeneous layer formed at the top of the cavity, with a concentration in good agreement with the theoretical model of Linden et al. 1990. However, the position and the thickness of the layer do not correspond to the theory. This is mainly due to the direct interactions between the buoyant jet and both the solid boundaries of the cavity and the exterior environment. Statistical analysis regarding the buoyancy production of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) served to identify the limits of the buoyant jet.
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Elie Saikali. Numerical modelling of an air-helium buoyant jet in a two vented enclosure. Mécanique des fluides [physics.class-ph]. Sorbonne Université, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SORUS023⟩. ⟨tel-01777609v2⟩

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