CD-adapco is the world's largest independent CFD focused provider of engineering simulation software, support and services. We have over 30 years of experience in delivering industrial strength engineering simulation.
The very high temperature reactor (VHTR) has been chosen as the concept for the next generation nuclear plant (NGNP), supported by the U. S. Department of Energy. There are two basic designs for the VHTR: a prismatic design and a pebble-bed design. In the prismatic design, the coolant (helium) exits the core into a lower plenum as jets. The helium then turns 90° and flows toward the exit duct around cylindrical support posts. Safety analysis by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is desired to determine the level of mixing of the jets and check for hot spots. Experimental data were taken in a scaled model of a slice of the lower plenum of a prismatic VHTR. Numerical investigations have been made using CFD to determine if the data are suitable for validation. This paper provides the findings of the investigations including results for a modified version of the flow field. The investigations include a determination of the extent of the computational domain needed, the best outlet boundary condition to use, the accuracy of the inlet data, application of several turbulence models and the search for the cause of an instability that causes large random excursions of flow variables. It is found that the inlet data measured by PIV are not sufficiently accurate and that the instability is apparently caused by the presence of the first inlet jet which impinges on a recirculation zone.