Invariant analysis of the Reynolds stress tensor for a nuclear fuel assembly with spacer grid and split type vanes Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 Invariant analysis of the Reynolds stress tensor anisotropy can give an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of the turbulent structure of a turbulent flow. Lumley's triangle has proven to be a powerful representation of the invariant analysis of the second-order statistics collection provided by the Reynolds stress tensor. In the present work the spectral element code Nek5000 has been used to investigate the turbulent structure of the flow across a pressurized water reactor spacer grid with split type mixing vanes. Wall-resolved large eddy simulation of the flow in a prototypical rod bundle geometry at Re = 14,000 and P/D = 1.32 are performed and validated against particle image velocimetry data. The results are then used to perform an in-depth invariant analysis. The results show a reorganization of the Reynolds stresses components in the downstream region of the spacer grid. The mixing vanes orientation produces a symmetric behavior between sub-channels. The turbulent structure in the fully developed region has the typical behavior of fully-developed channel flow turbulence. When averaging the state across regions of the sub-channels, we observed a transition from disk-like turbulence in the mixing vanes region to rod-like turbulence in the fully developed region.

author list (cited authors)

  • Busco, G., Merzari, E., & Hassan, Y. A.

citation count

  • 12

publication date

  • June 2019