On the effects of centrifugal forces in air-water two-phase flow regime transitions of an adiabatic helical geometry Public Deposited



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  • Two-phase flow in helical conduits is important in many industries where reaction between components, heat transfer, and mass transport are utilized as processes. The helical design is chosen for the effects of secondary flow patterns that reduce axial dispersion, increased heat transfer, and also their compact design. The first is a result of the secondary flow, which continually transports fluid from the near wall region to the bulk of the flow. In single-phase chemical reactor design this secondary flow increases radial mixing and reduces axial dispersion. In heat exchanger design it increases laminar heat transfer while extending the Reynolds number range of laminar flow. A literature review of the work on helical pipe flow shows that the vast majority of the work is on toroidal single-phase flow, and analyses of two-phase flow are sparse. This dissertation addresses this void by presenting an analytical model of the stratified and annular flow regime transitions in helical conduits, by consideration of the governing equations and mechanisms for transition in the toroidal geometry including the major impact of pitch. Studies have taken a similar approach for straight inclined horizontal and vertical geometries, but none have been found which resolve two-phase flow in the curved geometry of a helix. The main issue in resolving the flow in this geometry is that of determining appropriate inter-phase momentum transfer, and the appropriate friction correlations for wall interaction. These issues are resolved to yield a novel attempt at modeling helical two-phase flow. Pitch is considered negligible in introduction of torsion, while the dominating influence of the centrifugal force is retained. The formulation of the governing equations are taken from a general vector form that is readily extended to a true helix that includes torsion. The predictive capability of the current model is compared to the data and observations of the two-phase helical flow studies available in the open literature. The new model is found to be accurate in the linear asymptote, and to correctly predict the trends of increased liquid hold-up, a shift in the transition boundary between non-stratified and stratified flows such that the non-stratified regimes are favored, and the new liquid equilibrium height calculations shift the transition between annular and intermittent flows such that the intermittent regime is favored. The current model is an improvement over the previous methods in that it has the same accuracy of prediction of linear flowing inclined flows as methods developed for the linear flow condition, and improves the prediction of curved flow regimes by correctly shifting the boundaries as described above.
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