Turbulent Flow Analysis and Coherent Structure Identification in Experimental Models with Complex Geometries
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Turbulent flows and coherent structures emerging within turbulent flow fields have been extensively studied for the past few decades and a wide variety of experimental and numerical techniques have been developed for measurement and analysis of turbulent flows. The complex nature of turbulence requires methods that can accurately estimate its highly chaotic spatial and temporal behavior. Some of the classical cases of turbulent flows with simpler geometries have been well characterized by means of the existing experimental techniques and numerical models. Nevertheless, since most turbulent fields are of complex geometries; there is an increasing interest in the study of turbulent flows through models with more complicated geometries. In this dissertation, characteristics of turbulent flows through two different facilities with complex geometries are studied applying two different experimental methods. The first study involves the investigation of turbulent impinging jets through a staggered array of rods with or without crossflow. Such flows are crucial in various engineering disciplines. This experiment aimed at modeling the coolant flow behavior and mixing phenomena within the lower plenum of a Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). Dynamic Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Matched Index of Refraction (MIR) techniques were applied to acquire the turbulent velocity fields within the model. Some key flow features that may significantly enhance the flow mixing within the test section or actively affect some of the structural components were identified in the velocity fields. The evolution of coherent structures within the flow field is further investigated using a Snapshot Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) technique. Furthermore, a comparative POD method is proposed and successfully implemented for identification of the smaller but highly influential coherent structures which may not be captured in the full-field POD analysis. The second experimental study portrays the coolant flow through the core of an annular pebble bed VHTR. The complex geometry of the core and the highly turbulent nature of the coolant flow passing through the gaps of fuel pebbles make this case quite challenging. In this experiment, a high frequency Hot Wire Anemometry (HWA) system is applied for velocity measurements and investigation of the bypass flow phenomena within the near wall gaps of the core. The velocity profiles within the gaps verify the presence of an area of increased velocity close to the outer reflector wall; however, the characteristics of the coolant flow profile is highly dependent on the gap geometry and to a less extent on the Reynolds number of the flow. The time histories of the velocity are further analyzed using a Power Spectra Density (PSD) technique to acquire information about the energy content and energy transfer between eddies of different sizes at each point within the gaps.
SubjectTurbulent Flow Analysis
Coherent Structure Identification
Amini, Noushin (2011). Turbulent Flow Analysis and Coherent Structure Identification in Experimental Models with Complex Geometries. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from