Bubble and liquid turbulence characteristics of bubbly flow in a large diameter vertical pipe
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The bubble and liquid turbulence characteristics of air–water bubbly flow in a 200mm diameter vertical pipe was experimentally investigated. The bubble characteristics were measured using a dual optical probe, while the liquid-phase turbulence was measured using hot-film anemometry. Measurements were performed at six liquid superficial velocities in the range of 0.2–0.68m/s and gas superficial velocity from 0.005 to 0.18m/s, corresponding to an area average void fraction from 1.2% to 15.4%. At low void fraction flow, the radial void fraction distribution showed a wall peak which changed to a core peak profile as the void fraction was increased. The liquid average velocity and the turbulence intensities were less uniform in the core region of the pipe as the void fraction profile changed from a wall to a core peak. In general, there is an increase in the turbulence intensities when the bubbles are introduced into the flow. However, a turbulence suppression was observed close to the wall at high liquid superficial velocities for low void fractions up to about 1.6%. The net radial interfacial force on the bubbles was estimated from the momentum equations using the measured profiles. The radial migration of the bubbles in the core region of the pipe, which determines the shape of the void profile, was related to the balance between the turbulent dispersion and the lift forces. The ratio between these forces was characterized by a dimensionless group that includes the area averaged Eötvös number, slip ratio, and the ratio between the apparent added kinetic energy to the actual kinetic energy of the liquid. A non-dimensional map based on this dimensionless group and the force ratio is proposed to distinguish the conditions under which a wall or core peak void profile occurs in bubbly flows.
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