Purdue University Graduate School
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Two-Phase Flow Instability Induced by Flashing in Natural Circulation Systems: an Analytical Approach

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posted on 2021-05-05, 18:02 authored by Akshay Kumar KhandelwalAkshay Kumar Khandelwal
Many two-phase flow systems might undergo flow instabilities even if the system is adiabatic but operates near the saturation conditions, especially in vertical flow conditions. Such instabilities are caused by flashing of the fluid in flow. Flashing is a sudden phase change in the fluid caused when local saturation enthalpy falls below the fluid enthalpy and the excess energy is used as latent heat for gas generation.
In the current analysis, a mathematical model is presented for analysis of such instability analytically. The conservation equations have been obtained by statistical averaging in time and space. Then, the concerned system is divided into various regions based on flow conditions, and these averaged equations are used to describe the flow. For flashing-based instability, two parameters are derived from constitutive relationships for the fluid. These two parameters are Flashing Boundary and Gas Generation due to Flashing. These parameters provide for the closure of the mathematical model. Some simple models for flashing have been developed and discussed.
The mathematical model is then solved analytically for Uniform Heat and Flat Model for the heater and flashing region respectively. The solution is in terms of the characteristic equation which is used to predict the onset of instability caused by flashing. The results are then plotted on the Subcooling-Phase Change number plane. It is observed that inlet and outlet restrictions in the flow does not affect the onset of flashing induced instability as the flow rate is coupled with the pressure drop of the system. This is important as these restrictions play a major role in other two-phase flow instabilities such as Density Wave Oscillations
Finally, the stability boundary in the stability plane is compared to experimental data present for flashing. The comparison was made with data of S. Shi, A. Dixit, and F. Inada. The stability boundary satisfactorily agrees with the experimental data thus corroborating the present mathematical model and analysis.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Nuclear Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Mamoru Ishii

Additional Committee Member 2

Martin Lopez-de-Bertodano

Additional Committee Member 3

Gregory Blaisdell