CFD ANALYSIS OF THE SPACER GRIDS AND MIXING VANES EFFECT ON THE FLOW IN THE CHOSEN PART OF THE TVSA-T FUEL ASSEMBLY
Keywords:TVSA-T fuel assembly, spacer grid, mixing vanes, CFD, turbulent flow
CFD is a promising and widely spread tool for a flow simulation in nuclear reactor fuel assemblies. One of the limiting factors is the complicated geometry of a spacer grid. It leads to the computational mesh with high number of cells and with possibility of decreasing quality. Therefore an approach to simulate the flow as precisely as possible and simultaneously in a reasonable computational expense has to be chosen. The goal of the following CFD analysis is to obtain the detailed velocity field in a precise geometry of
a chosen part of the TVSA-T fuel assembly. This kind of simulation provides data for comparison that can be applied in many situations, for instance, for comparison with simulations when a porous media boundary condition is applied as a replacement of the spacer grid.
TVSA-T fuel assembly is equipped with combined spacer grids. Combined spacer grid has two functions - support of the fuel pins as a part of assembly skeleton and mixing vanes which ensures coolant mixing. The support part is geometrically very complicated and it is impossible to prepare a good quality computational mesh there. It is also difficult to create a mesh in the support part and the mixing part joint area because of inaccurate connection between these two parts.
A representative part of the TVSA-T fuel assembly with a combined spacer grid segment was chosen to perform the CFD simulation. Some inevitable geometry simplifications of the spacer grid geometry were performed. These simplifications were as insignificant as possible to preserve the flow character and to make it possible to prepare
a quality mesh at the same time.
Steady state CFD simulation was performed with k-ε realizable turbulence model. Heat transfer was not simulated and only velocity field was investigated. Detailed flow characterization which was obtained from this calculation shown, that mixing vanes already affect the flow in the support part of the grid thanks to suction effect. Vortex structures disappear approximately 50 mm behind the mixing vanes but the basic spiral character of the flow is preserved in the whole area between two following spacer grids.