Flow structures of the cross-flow over a five-layer helically coiled steam generator geometry

Saya Lee, Yassin A. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The helically-coiled heat exchanger (HCSG) offers advantages over straight tubes such as compactness in geometry, increased heat transfer coefficients, and capability to absorb thermal expansion. In this study, the time-resolved velocity field data of shell-side crossflow over a five-layer helically coiled steam generator geometry was obtained using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) between adjacent rods in four regions with up to 5000 frames per second (5 kHz) at approximately Reu = 3600. The slant rod bundle created different flow patterns in different regions. Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) revealed high-energy-mode flow structures. Due to the confined flow channel geometry, the large flow structures were not advected resulting in no strong POD mode paring. Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT) visualized the characteristics of flow fluctuation in time and frequency domain simultaneously, which ranged in Strouhal number, Su, between 0.03 and 1.17. In the wake regions of the rods, flows changed in both pattern and magnitude over time. Once a pattern formed, it continued for relatively shorter than straight tube arrays, before changing the pattern again. The histograms of the POD time coefficients presented this multimodal flow characteristics. The current study focuses more on whole flow field analyses in the selected regions rather than local point-wise analyses. This study revealed that various Strouhal numbers can exist in the helically coiled heat exchanger geometry, which was not observed in straight tube arrays. In particular, Strouhal numbers smaller than 0.1 do not seem to be caused by vortex shedding but seem to be the result of the combination of complex geometry and possible multimodal trends. Based on the current observation, further works would involve intensive instantaneous point-wise analyses on the interactions between important locations such as separation points, stagnation points, shear layers, etc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108950
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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