Research Papers: Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

Simple Mechanistically Consistent Formulation for Volume-of-Fluid Based Computations of Condensing Flows

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexander S. Rattner

George W. Woodruff School
of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0405

Srinivas Garimella

George W. Woodruff School
of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0405
e-mail: srinivas.garimella@me.gatech.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received July 31, 2013; final manuscript received January 31, 2014; published online March 26, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Ali Ebadian.

J. Heat Transfer 136(7), 071501 (Mar 26, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-13-1389; doi: 10.1115/1.4026808 History: Received July 31, 2013; Revised January 31, 2014

Numerous investigations have been conducted to extend adiabatic liquid–gas volume-of-fluid (VOF) flow solvers to include condensation phenomena by adding an energy equation and phase-change source terms. Some proposed phase-change models employ empirical rate parameters, or adapt heat-transfer correlations, and thus must be tuned for specific applications. Generally applicable models have also been developed that rigorously resolve the phase-change process, but require interface reconstruction, significantly increasing computational cost, and software complexity. In the present work, a simplified first-principles-based condensation model is developed, which forces interface-containing mesh cells to the equilibrium state. The operation on cells instead of complex interface surfaces enables the use of fast graph algorithms without reconstruction. The model is validated for horizontal film condensation, and converges to exact solutions with increasing mesh resolution. Agreement with established results is demonstrated for smooth and wavy falling-film condensation.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Interface cell identification process: The phase-fraction field on mesh cells (A) yields a graph (B) from which cell pairs straddling α = 0.5 form the interface (C)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Flow solution algorithm summary

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Fig. 3

Geometry for horizontal film condensation studies

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Fig. 4

Horizontal condensing film development

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Fig. 5

Horizontal film temperature profiles

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Fig. 6

Smooth (A) and wavy (B) falling-film domains

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Fig. 7

Fully developed wavy film profiles

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Fig. 8

Comparison of simulation and correlation heat fluxes




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