Finite element modeling of liquid deuterium flow and heat transfer in a cold-neutron source. (English) Zbl 1065.76558

Summary: A finite element simulation of flow and heat transfer in the moderator cell of a cold-neutron source (CNS), in which liquid deuterium subject to internal heat generation is flowing, is reported. The numerical scheme consists of a stabilized equal-order method. A time-accurate approach is adopted to resolve the large-scale eddies of the flow, with a Smagorinsky’s model for the subgrid-scale effects. The thermal coupling follows a staggered strategy, with SUPG-type upwinding. A specific wall-law is developed that accounts for the correct partition of the heat deposited at the wall by radiation between the liquid deuterium and the helium gas flowing at the outer side of the wall. The average flow and thermal structure are presented. The turbulent fluctuations are both illustrated in physical space and decomposed into spectral components. The wavenumber spectrum suggests that adequate resolution of the large-scale eddies has been attained with just 200,000 nodes, while a DNS analysis would have required at least \(10^{10}\) nodes. Usefulness of the approach in the design process of the CNS is highlighted.


76M10 Finite element methods applied to problems in fluid mechanics
76A20 Thin fluid films
82D75 Nuclear reactor theory; neutron transport
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