Reflux condensation occurs in vertical channels and tubes when there is an upward core flow of vapour (or gas-vapour mixture) and a downward flow of the liquid film. The understanding of this condensation configuration is crucial in the design of reflux condensers, distillation columns, and in loss-of-coolant safety analyses in nuclear power plant steam generators. The unique feature of this flow is the upward flow of the vapour-gas mixture (or pure vapour) that retards the liquid flow via shear at the liquid-mixture interface. The present model solves the full, elliptic governing equations in both the film and the gas-vapour core flow. The computational mesh is non-orthogonal and adapts dynamically the phase interface, thus produces a sharp and accurate interface. Shear forces and heat and mass transfer at the interface are accounted for fundamentally. This modeling is a big step ahead of current capabilities by removing the limitations of previous reflux condensation models which inherently cannot account for the detailed local balances of shear, mass, and heat transfer at the interface. Discretisation has been done based on finite volume method and co-located variable storage scheme. An in-house computer code was developed to implement the numerical solution scheme. Detailed results are presented for laminar reflux condensation from steam-air mixtures flowing in vertical parallel plate channels. The results include velocity and gas mass fraction profiles, as well as axial variations of film thickness.
An essential component of a finite volume method (FVM) is the advection scheme that estimates values on the cell faces based on the calculated values on the nodes or cell centers. The most widely used advection schemes are upwind schemes. These schemes have been developed in FVM on different kinds of structured and unstructured grids. In this research, the physical influence scheme (PIS) is developed for a cell-centered FVM that uses an implicit coupled solver. Results are compared with the exponential differencing scheme (EDS) and the skew upwind differencing scheme (SUDS). Accuracy of these schemes is evaluated for a lid-driven cavity flow at Re = 1000, 3200, and 5000 and a backward-facing step flow at Re = 800. Simulations show considerable differences between the results of EDS scheme with benchmarks, especially for the lid-driven cavity flow at high Reynolds numbers. These differences occur due to false diffusion. Comparing SUDS and PIS schemes shows relatively close results for the backward-facing step flow and different results in lid-driven cavity flow. The poor results of SUDS in the lid-driven cavity flow can be related to its lack of sensitivity to the pressure difference between cell face and upwind points, which is critical for the prediction of such vortex dominant flows.