Parametric study of charging inlet diffuser performance in stratified chilled water storage tanks with radial diffusers: Part 1–model development and validation

A. Musser, W. P. Bahnfleth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been developed to simulate the flow and heat transfer near a lower radial inlet diffuser in a cylindrical stratified chilled water storage tank during charging. The model was used to perform parametric simulations of inlet diffuser performance in full-scale tanks during thermocline formation, from which first-order correlation relating thermal performance to tank and diffuser design parameters were derived. Part 1 describes the development of the CFD model and its validation. Part 2 reports the results of the parametric study. The two-dimensional, transient model was implemented in a commercial finite element code. The model has been validated with field-measured data from two full-scale tanks. Laminar analysis predicted field-measured temperature profiles well, even under ostensibly transitional conditions, provided that variations in inlet temperature during the field tests were accurately modeled. These results suggest that turbulence has a secondary effect on the development of thermoclines within the range of parameters considered and that laminar models may be useful for modeling performance of full-scale tanks over a wide range of inlet parameters. The fully developed temperature profile was found to be insensitive to the velocity distribution assumed at the inlet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalHVAC and R Research
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction

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