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Concept# Rayleigh number

Summary

In fluid mechanics, the Rayleigh number (Ra, after Lord Rayleigh) for a fluid is a dimensionless number associated with buoyancy-driven flow, also known as free (or natural) convection. It characterises the fluid's flow regime: a value in a certain lower range denotes laminar flow; a value in a higher range, turbulent flow. Below a certain critical value, there is no fluid motion and heat transfer is by conduction rather than convection. For most engineering purposes, the Rayleigh number is large, somewhere around 106 to 108.
The Rayleigh number is defined as the product of the Grashof number (Gr), which describes the relationship between buoyancy and viscosity within a fluid, and the Prandtl number (Pr), which describes the relationship between momentum diffusivity and thermal diffusivity: Ra = Gr × Pr. Hence it may also be viewed as the ratio of buoyancy and viscosity forces multiplied by the ratio of momentum and thermal diffusiviti

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Nowadays, the global increase of energy demand and the necessity to satisfy high safety standards have led engineers and scientists to focus their efforts in order to understand and describe fundamental phenomena that are crucial for a correct design of the new generation nuclear power plants. In this framework, the present thesis aims at providing a first insight of the mechanisms of deposition of aerosol particles inside a closed geometry where relatively strong currents are present due to turbulent natural convective flows. Direct Numerical Simulations were conducted coupling high-order pseudo-spectral code with a Lagrangian particle tracker. Laminar flows were computed in two and three dimensions in order to benchmark the code with published reference data. A parametric study was performed for three different aerosol micro-size particle diameters and two super-critical Rayleigh numbers in a square cavity. An extended analysis of the turbulent flows is provided in terms of first and second order statistics, time-averaged momentum and energy budgets, and moreover, important terms appearing in the transport equations of turbulent kinetic energy and temperature variance are also briefly discussed. Furthermore, the evolution in time of particle concentration for the three different diameters is considered. The text provides information about the deposition velocity, the deposition patterns on the cavity surfaces, the influence of lift and thermophoretic forces and the fractal dimension. The same size dependent parametric study for the three different sets of micro-size particles was carried out in a fully three-dimensional closed cubic cavity for one super-critical Rayleigh number. A detailed investigation of the turbulence was performed by means of statistical quantities, signal processing and conditional averaging, in order to get a general view of the complexity of the flow and its characteristics. Further on, the sedimentation process is studied in the same way as for the two dimensional case. Finally a simple theoretical deposition model is provided in order to interpret the numerical results for the aerosol phase.

Christoph Bosshard, Abdelouahab Dehbi, Michel Deville, Emmanuel Leriche, Riccardo Puragliesi, Alfredo Soldati

Large eddy simulations of the turbulent natural convection flow in a differentially heated cavity have been carried out at a Rayleigh number of 10(9) using the spectral element method. To obtain the large eddy simulation equations, a low pass filter given by the numerical space discretisation is applied to the Boussinesq equations. The subgrid tensor in the filtered momentum equation is modelled by a subgrid viscosity computed by the dynamic Smagorinsky model. To model the subgrid heat flux vector in the filtered temperature equation, a subgrid diffusivity is used which is related to the subgrid viscosity by a dynamically computed subgrid Prandtl number. All filtering operations are done in an elementwise defined hierarchical polynomial basis. The test filter for the dynamic procedure is chosen so that the grid filter and the combination of the grid with the test filter are self-similar. An important parameter of the simulation namely the choice of the decomposition of the computational domain into spectral elements is fully discussed. Large eddy simulations for three different grid resolutions are validated and compared with a highly accurate direct numerical simulation. At the end, turbulence structures associated with the maximum of the turbulent kinetic energy production are identified by the lambda(2) criterion. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Abdelouahab Dehbi, Michel Deville, Emmanuel Leriche, Riccardo Puragliesi, Alfredo Soldati

In this work we investigate numerically particle deposition in the buoyancy driven flow of the differentially heated cavity (DHC). We consider two values of the Rayleigh number (Ra = 10(9), 10(10)) and three values of the particle diameter (d(p) = 15, 25, 35 [mu m]). We consider the cavity filled with air and particles with the same density of water rho(w) = 1000 [kg/m(3)] (aerosol). We use direct numerical simulations (DNS) for the continuous phase, and we solve transient Navier-Stokes and energy transport equations written in an Eulerian framework, under the Boussinesq approximation, for the viscous incompressible Newtonian fluid with constant Prandtl number (Pr = 0.71). First- and second-order statistics are presented for the continuous phase as well as important quantities like turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and temperature variance with the associated production and dissipation fields. The TKE production shows different behaviour at the two Rayleigh numbers.

2011