CFD analysis of pressure differentials in a plate-type fuel assembly Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dr26z1353

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  • The Hydro-Mechanical Fuel Test Facility (HMFTF) is being built at Oregon State University to evaluate fluid flow through plate-type fuel assemblies. The first plate assembly that will be examined in the facility is the Generic Test Plate Assembly (GTPA). The GTPA consists of an array of six parallel flat plates, 24 inches long, forming seven flow channels. The plates are a total of 4 inches wide and 0.05 inches thick with 0.25 inches of the plate edge being imbedded in the side plate making a flow channel of 3.5 inches wide. The height of the flow channels is adjustable. A support comb is used to stiffen the free edges of the fuel plates. The Star-CCM+ CFD tool was used to analyze fluid flow through the GTPA with channels of equal height (0.075 inches) except for the middle channel which was 0.125 inches high. Using standard CFD practices the mesh type, mesh size, and turbulence model were selected. Using different boundary conditions, consisting of three flow rates with a fixed temperature and three temperatures, with the flow rate fixed at one of the three analyzed flow rates, the pressure differentials between the channels were analyzed to determine the possibility of plate deflection. The analysis revealed that the pressure difference between the channels increased with increasing volumetric flow rate. The results also indicate that as the system temperature increased the pressure differential between the channels decreased slightly. Velocity results were compared to Miller's critical velocity and indicate that plate deflection is not expected to occur at the inlet of the channel due to the stiffening caused by the presence of the support comb.
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