Our simulation engineer Andrea co-authored the paper “Assessment of different URANS models for the prediction of the unsteady thermal mixing in a T-junction”, which has now been published in Annals of Nuclear Energy. Andrea published this paper while working as a CFD consultant for the Nuclear Research and consultancy Group (NRG) based in the Netherlands.
Thermal fluctuations in T-junction pipes represent a major safety concert in nuclear reactors. In fact, the unsteady nature of the heat transfer in the junction leads to cyclic thermal stresses and thermal fatigue within the pipe wall. The numerical simulation of this phenomenon usually relies on the computationally expensive Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach, which is often unfeasible for complex industrial applications. The present work showed that a careful use of the more pragmatic Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) approach can lead to reasonable results in the prediction of the unsteadiness of the heat transfer at the wall in T-junctions; this can provide useful insights to nuclear engineers for the safety assessment of nuclear power plants at a reasonable computational cost.