Implementation and evaluation of one-group interfacial area transport equation in TRACE

Justin D. Talley, Seungjin Kim, John Mahaffy, Stephen M. Bajorek, Kirk Tien

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Scopus citations


    The present study implements the one-dimensional interfacial area transport equation into the TRACE code, being developed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The interfacial area transport equation replaces the conventional flow regime dependent correlations and the regime transition criteria for furnishing the interfacial area concentration in the two-fluid model. This approach allows dynamic tracking of the interfacial area concentration by mechanistically modeling bubble coalescence and disintegration mechanisms. Thus, it eliminates potential artificial bifurcations or numerical oscillations stemming from the use of conventional static correlations. To implement the interfacial area transport equation, a three-field version of TRACE is utilized, which is capable of tracking both the continuous liquid and gas fields as well as a dispersed gas field. To demonstrate the feasibility of the present approach, the steady-state one-group interfacial area transport equation applicable to adiabatic air-water bubbly two-phase flow is first tested in the present study. Data obtained in 18 different flow conditions from two vertical co-current upward air-water bubbly two-phase flow experiments performed in round pipes (25.4 mm and 48.3 mm) are used to help evaluate the implementation. Results obtained from TRACE with the interfacial area transport equation (TRACE-T) and those from TRACE without the transport equation (TRACE-NT) are compared to demonstrate the enhancement in prediction accuracy. The predictions made by TRACE-T agree well with the data with an average percent difference of approximately ±8%. It is also evident from the results that while TRACE-T accounts for dynamic interaction of bubbles along the flow field, the predictions made by TRACE-NT are attributed primarily to the pressure change.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)865-873
    Number of pages9
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Mechanical Engineering


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