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Wall Boiling Models[6/1/2014 11:18:38 AM]
17.5.16. Wall Boiling Models Overview
The term subcooled boiling is used to describe the physical situation where the wall temperature is high enough to
cause boiling to occur at the wall even though the bulk volume averaged liquid temperature is less than the saturation
value. In such cases, the energy is transferred directly from the wall to the liquid. Part of this energy will cause the
temperature of the liquid to increase and part will generate vapor. Interphase heat transfer will also cause the average
liquid temperature to increase, however, the saturated vapor will condense. Additionally, some of the energy may be
transferred directly from the wall to the vapor. These basic mechanisms are the foundations of the so called Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute (RPI) models.
In ANSYS FLUENT, the wall boiling models are developed in the context of the Eulerian multiphase model. The
multiphase flows are governed by the conservation equations for phase continuity (Equation 17133), momentum
(Equation 17134), and energy (Equation 17140). The wall boiling phenomenon is modeled by the RPI nucleate
boiling model of Kurual and Podowski [192] and an extended formulation for the departed nucleate boiling regime
(DNB) by Lavieville et al [202].
The wall boiling models are compatible with three different wall boundaries: isothermal wall, specified heat flux, and
specified heat transfer coefficient (coupled wall boundary).
Specific submodels have been considered to account for the interfacial transfers of momentum, mass, and heat, as well
as turbulence models in boiling flows, as described below.
To learn how to set up the boiling model, please refer to Including the Boiling Model. RPI Model
According to the basic RPI model, the total heat flux from the wall to the liquid is partitioned into three components,
namely the convective heat flux, the quenching heat flux, and the evaporative heat flux:
The heated wall surface is subdivided into area , which is covered by nucleating bubbles and a portion ,
which is covered by the fluid.
The convective heat flux is expressed as
where is the single phase heat transfer coefficient, and and are the wall and liquid temperatures, respectively.
The quenching heat flux models the cyclic averaged transient energy transfer related to liquid filling the wall
vicinity after bubble detachment, and is expressed as
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Where is the conductivity, is the periodic time, and is the diffusivity.
The evaporative flux is given by
Where is the volume of the bubble based on the bubble departure diameter, is the active nucleate site density,
is the vapor density, and is the latent heat of evaporation, and is the bubble departure frequency. These
equations need closure for the following parameters:
Area of Influence
Its definition is based on the departure diameter and the nucleate site density:
Note that in order to avoid numerical instabilities due to unbound empirical correlations for the nucleate site density, the
area of influence has to be restricted. The area of influence is limited as follows:
The value of the empirical constant is usually set to 4, however it has been found that this value is not universal and
may vary between 1.8 and 5. The following relation for this constant has also been implemented based on Del Valle
and Kenning's findings [77]:
and is the subcooled J acob number defined as
Frequency of Bubble Departure
Implementation of the RPI model normally uses the frequency of bubble departure as the one based on inertia controlled
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growth (not really applicable to subcooled boiling) [64]
Nucleate Site Density
The nucleate site density is usually represented by a correlation based on the wall superheat. The general expression is
of the form
Here the empirical parameters from Lemmert and Chawla [207] are used, where and . Other
formulations are also available, such as Kocamustafaogullari and Ishii [186] where

Where is the bubble departure diameter and the density function is defined as
Bubble Departure Diameter
The default bubble departure diameter (mm) for the RPI model is based on empirical correlations [192] and is calculated
while Kocamustafaogullari and Ishii [186] use
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with being the contact angle in degrees.
The bubble departure diameter (mm) based on the Unal relationship[452] is calculated as
where is the flow pressure, is the wall superheat, is latent heat, is the near wall bulk
velocity, and . The subscripts , and denote the solid material, liquid, and vapor phase,
respectively. Non-equilibrium Subcooled Boiling
When using the basic RPI model (RPI Model), the temperature of the vapor is not calculated, but instead is fixed at the
saturation temperature. To model boiling departing from the nucleate boiling regime (DNB), or to model it up to the
critical heat flux and post dry-out condition, it is necessary to include the vapor temperature in the solution process. The
wall heat partition is now modified as follows:
Here , , and are the liquid-phase convective heat flux, quenching heat flux, and evaporation heat flux,
respectively (described in detail in RPI Model). The extra heat fluxes are representing the convective heat flux of
the vapor phase, and representing heat flux to any other possible gas phases in a system. These can be expressed as
Similar to the liquid phase , the convective heat transfer coefficients and are computed from the wall
function formulations.
The function depends on the local liquid volume fraction with similar limiting values as the liquid volume
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fraction. Lavieville et al [202] proposed the following expression:
Here, the critical value for the vapor fraction is Critical Heat Flux
In wall boiling, the critical heat flux (CHF) condition is characterized by a sharp reduction of local heat transfer
coefficients and the excursion of wall surface temperatures. It occurs when heated surfaces are no longer wetted by
boiling liquid with the increase of vapor content. At critical heat flux conditions, vapor replaces the liquid and occupies
the space adjacent to heated walls. The energy is thus directly transferred from the wall to the vapor. In turn, it results
in rapid reduction of the heat removal ability and sharp rise of the vapor temperature, and most importantly, the wall
temperatures. In addition, wall boiling departs from the nucleating boiling regime, and the multiphase flow regime
changes from a bubbly flow to a mist flow.
To model the critical heat flux conditions, the basic approach adopted in ANSYS FLUENT is to extend the RPI model
from the nucleate boiling regime to critical heat flux and post dry-out conditions, while considering the following:
The generalized and non-equilibrium wall heat flux partition
The flow regime transition from bubbly to mist flows Wall Heat Flux Partition
The wall heat partition is defined in the same way as Equation 17310, with the exception of the function definition.
Here, the function depends on the local liquid/vapor volume fraction with the same limiting values as the
liquid volume fraction, i.e., between zero and one. Lavieville et al. [202] proposed the following expression:
The critical value for the liquid volume fraction is , and for the vapor phase, it is .
There are also some other functions available to define the wall heat flux partition. When defining wall boiling regimes,
Tentner et al. [450] suggested the following expression based on the vapor volume fraction:
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Taking the thin film boiling into consideration in the wall heat flux partition, Ioilev et al. [451] used a linear function to
extend Equation 17315 to the critical heat flux condition:
Where the breakpoints have been set to and .
In ANSYS FLUENT, Equation 17315 is chosen as the default formulation for the wall heat flux partition. Flow Regime Transition
When wall boiling departs from the nucleate boiling regime and reaches the critical heat flux and post dry-out
conditions, the multiphase flow regime changes from a bubbly flow to a mist flow. Consequently, the liquid phase
switches from the continuous phase to the dispersed phase, while the vapor phase becomes the continuous phase from
the originally dispersed phase in the bubbly flow regime. With the flow regime transition, the interfacial area,
momentum transfer terms (drag, lift, turbulent dispersion, interfacial area, etc.), heat transfer and turbulence quantities
will change accordingly.
To mimic the change of the flow regime and compute the interfacial transfers, the so-called flow regime maps, based on
cross-section averaged flow parameters, are traditionally used in sub-channel one-dimensional thermal-hydraulic codes.
In CFD solvers, the concept of flow regime maps has been expanded into a local, cell-based interfacial surface topology
to evaluate the flow regime transitions from local flow parameters. The ensemble of all the computational cells with
their usually simple local interfacial surface topologies can provide complex global topologies to represent the different
flow regimes as the traditional sub-channel flow regime maps.
As a first step, this implementation adopts a simple local interfacial surface topology to control the transition smoothly
from a continuous liquid bubbly flow to a continuous vapor droplet flow configuration [450], [451]. It assumes that
inside a computational cell, the local interfacial surface topology contains multi-connected interfaces, and the flow
regimes are determined by a single local flow quantity the vapor volume fraction :
Bubbly flow topology: the vapor phase is dispersed in the continuous liquid in the form of bubbles. Typically

Mist flow topology: the liquid phase is dispersed in the continuous vapor in the form of droplets. Typically

Churn flow: this is an intermediate topology between the bubbly and mist flow topology, where
The interfacial surface topologies are used to compute the interfacial area and interfacial transfers of momentum and
heat. Introducing to represent interfacial quantities (interfacial area, drag, lift, turbulent drift force and heat transfer),
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then they are calculated using the following general form:
Here is computed using equation Equation 17315 or Equation 17316, but with different lower and upper
limits of the breakpoints. Typically, the values of 0.3 and 0.7 are used and and are the interfacial
quantities from bubbly flow and mist flow, respectively. They are calculated using the interfacial sub-models presented
in Interfacial Momentum Transfer and Interfacial Heat Transfer.
It may be noted that in the boiling models, the liquid is usually defined as the first phase, and the vapor as the second
phase. Once this is defined, it remains unchanged with the flow regime transition. When and are
calculated, however, the primary or secondary phases are switched. For , the liquid is treated as the primary
phase, while the vapor is the secondary phase. Contrary to this, for , the vapor becomes the primary phase and
the liquid is the secondary phase. Interfacial Momentum Transfer
The interfacial momentum transfer may include four parts: drag, lift, virtual mass and turbulent drift forces (all
described in Conservation Equations, Interphase Exchange Coefficients, and Turbulence Models. In the wall boiling
models, the virtual mass force is modeled using the standard correlation implemented in the Eulerian multiphase model
within ANSYS FLUENT, while specific sub-models have been implemented for drag, lift, and turbulent drift forces.
Also, user-defined options are available for both drag and lift forces. Interfacial Area
The interfacial area is an important parameter for the drag and the heat transfer process. For dispersed boiling, the
interfacial area, based on the diameter of the bubble, would be enough. However, as bubble coalescence takes place,
this needs to be modified. The following options are included:
Particle Model:
Symmetric Model: (default model)
Ishii Model:
320) Interfacial Drag Force
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The interfacial drag force is calculated using the standard model described in Interphase Exchange Coefficients (and
defined in the context of the interfacial area in Equation 17318) is of the general form
Where the drag coefficient is determined by choosing the minimum of the viscous regime and the distorted
regime , defined as follows:
The bubble diameter can be a constant value, a UDF, or a correlation function of local subcooling
323) Interfacial Lift Force
The coefficient for the interfacial lift force is calculated using the correlation proposed by Moraga et al. [266]:
Where . The lift coefficient combines the opposing action of two lift forces: the classical aerodynamics lift
force resulting from interaction between bubble and liquid shear, and the lateral force resulting from interaction
between bubble and vortexes shed by bubble wakes. Here is the bubble Reynolds number, and
is the bubble shear Reynolds number.
The formulation proposed by Tomiyama et al. [445] is also available with the lift coefficient expressed as
, where
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where is the bubble Reynolds number and
is the Etvos number, with as the gravitational acceleration and the surface tension number. Turbulence Drift Force
In the ANSYS FLUENT Eulerian multiphase model, the general correlation for turbulence drift force (turbulent
dispersion) is based on Simonin [355]. Due to numerical instabilities this force is now included in the Rhie & Chow
interpolation [327] for the volume flux calculations. Simonins [355] approach can be also used for the boiling model.
However, for completeness of the RPI model, the default for the turbulent drift force is given by
Where with is the turbulent kinetic energy and the turbulent dispersion coefficient is, by default, set to 1.0 Interfacial Heat Transfer Interface to Liquid Heat Transfer
As the bubbles depart from the wall and move towards the subcooled region, there is heat transfer from the bubble to the
liquid, that is defined as
Where is the interfacial area defined by Equation 17319 and is the heat transfer coefficient based on the Ranz-
Marshall correlation [319]
330) Interface to Vapor Heat Transfer
The interface to vapor heat transfer is calculated using the constant time scale return to saturation method [202]. It is
assumed that the vapor retains the saturation temperature by rapid evaporation/condensation. The formulation is as
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Where is the time scale set to a default value of 0.05 and is the isobaric heat capacity. Mass Transfer Mass Transfer From the Wall to Vapor
The evaporation mass flow is applied at the cell near the wall and it is derived from the evaporation heat flux,
Equation 17331
332) Interfacial Mass Transfer
The interfacial mass transfer depends directly on the interfacial heat transfer. Assuming that all the heat transferred to
the interface is used in mass transfer (i.e. evaporation or condensation), the interfacial mass transfer rate can be written
333) Turbulence Models
Turbulence quantities depend on the models selected for the problem, i.e. Mixture model, Dispersed Model or Model
per phase. For the conventional mixture k-epsilon models, two additional terms have been included to describe
additional bubble stirring and dissipation: one in the turbulent kinetic energy ( ), and the other in the dissipation rate
equation ( ):
where [390].
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