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A mechanistic model of critical heat flux under subcooled flow boiling conditions for application to one- and three-dimensional computer codes
Based on a review of visual observations at or near critical heat flux (CHF) under subcooled flow boiling conditions and consideration of CHF triggering mechanisms, presented in a companion paper [Le Corre, J.M., Yao, S.C., Amon, C.H., 2010. Two-phase flow regimes and mechanisms of critical heat flux under subcooled flow boiling conditions. Nucl. Eng. Des.], a model using a two-dimensional transient thermal analysis of the heater undergoing nucleation was developed to mechanistically predict CHF in the case of a bubbly flow regime. The model simulates the spatial and temporal heater temperature variations during nucleation at the wall, accounting for the stochastic nature of the boiling phenomena. It is postulated that a high local wall superheat occurring underneath a nucleating bubble at the time of bubble departure can prevent wall rewetting at CHF (Leidenfrost effect). The model has also the potential to evaluate the post-DNB heater temperature up to the point of heater melting.
Validation of the proposed model was performed using detailed measured wall boiling parameters near CHF, thereby bypassing most needed constitutive relations. It was found that under limiting nucleation conditions; a peak wall temperature at the time of bubble departure can be reached at CHF preventing wall cooling by quenching. The simulations show that the resulting dry patch can survive the surrounding quenching events, preventing further nucleation and leading to a fast heater temperature increase. The model was applied at CHF conditions in simple geometry coupled with one-dimensional and three-dimensional (CFD) codes. It was found that, within the range where CHF occurs under bubbly flow conditions (as defined in Le Corre et al., 2010), the local wall superheat underneath nucleating bubbles is predicted to reach the Leidenfrost temperature. However, a better knowledge of statistical variations in wall boiling parameters would be necessary to correctly capture the CHF trends with mass flux (or Weber number).