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definitions

Halldór Pálsson

University of Iceland

Single phase flow

In general, the fluid can be in either of the following two

states:

Liquid phase, such as water:

Considered incompressible in most cases.

Pressure shocks and waves can occour.

Flow is classified as laminar or turbulent.

Gas phase, such as air or steam:

Compressible in many applications.

Density very different from liquid state.

Properties vary considerable with temperature.

Flow is classified as laminar or turbulent.

Properties related to single phase flow

The fluid is homogenious and in most cases be

considered Newtonian, such that

∂u

τ =µ

∂y

are temperature dependent in general.

Fluid classification is given by the Reynolds number

ρud

Re =

µ

laminar and turbulent flow.

Two phase flow – concepts and definitions – p. 3

Multi-phase flow

There are several combinitions possible:

Gas and liquid: Steam and water in geothermal pipes,

oil and methane.

Gas and solid particles: Sand transport, aluminium

oxide transport. transport.

Liquid and solids: Flowing mudslides, quicksands.

Gas liquid and solids: Some cases in oil transport from

reservoirs.

In most cases the flow in only in two case state.

Two phase calculations

All practical calculations are much more complex, when

compared to single phase.

Pressure drop calculations involve complex friction

relations and momentum changes.

Heat loss through pipe walls are complex, because of

unstable boundary layers and phase mixing.

Temperature variations in the fluid are difficult to predict,

because of turbulence and phase mixing.

Flow stabilty can vary with different two phase flow and

violent flow changes can occur.

Conclusion: It is very difficult to derive theoretical formulas

for the properties mentioned above.

Practical use of two phase flow calculations

In most cases it is necessary to use experiments and

measurements to develop empirical relations.

Examples of two phase flow situations in geothermal

utilization involve:

Heat exchangers, when working fluid is heated by

external energy source.

Vertical flow in geothermal wells.

Flow in surface pipes in relation to geothermal power

production.

Performance of steam separators.

Flow in low pressure parts of turbines.

Variations in phase ratios

Two different cases of flow can be considered:

1. Steady flow with respect to phase change, where no

such change takes place. In most cases, pressure and

temperature are constant.

2. Unsteady flow, where phase change takes place. This

can happen when pressure drops at constant enthalpy

and water boils to form steam.

An example of the second case is seen in a geothermal

well, where water boils which in turn increases the amount

of steam in the pipe.

Definitions – Mass flow ratio

This parameter is defined as x, and is the ratio between the

mass flow of steam and the total mass flow, at a given time

in a given cross section.

ṁg ṁg

x= =

ṁg + ṁl ṁ

in relation with steam power cycles.

Note that the subscript g denotes gas and l denotes liquid.

Definitions – Static dryness

Here the definition q is slightly different from x. q is the ratio

between the mass of steam and the total mass, at a given

time in a given cross section.

mg mg

q= =

mg + ml m

difference between x and q if the flow velocity of the two

phases are different.

Definitions – Slip ratio

This is the ratio between the flow velocities in gas and

liquid, for a given cross section. Thus

vg

S=

vl

velocity. Note that for the special case S = 1 then x = q .

Definitions – Void fraction

This parameter denotes the fraction between the area of

steam and the total area of a given cross section of a pipe.

Ag Ag

α= =

Ag + Al A

gas

Ag

cross section

liquid Al

Volumetric dryness and mass velocity

1. The volumetric dryness is defined as the ratio between

volumetric gas flow and total volumetric flow in a given

cross section. The volumetric flow is usually given in

m3 /s.

Qg Qg

β= =

Qg + Ql Q

2. The mass velocity is simply mass flow per unit area, or

ṁ

G=

A

which has the unit kg/(m2 s).

Relation between q and α

For each phase we have m = ρA and Al = (1 − α)A. Thus

ρg Ag ρg αA

q= =

ρg Ag + ρl Al ρg αA + ρl (1 − α)A

ρg α αρg

= =

ρg α + ρl (1 − α) ρα

relation to the void fraction.

Relation between β and x

Here we use that ṁ = ρQ for each of the phases. Also we

have ṁl = (1 − x)ṁ. We get

ṁg xṁ x

ρg ρg ρg

β= ṁg ṁl

= (1−x)ṁ

= (1−x)

+ xṁ x

ρg ρl ρg + ρl ρg + ρl

1 x (1 − x)

= +

ρx ρg ρl

Slip ratio relationships

For each phase we have ṁ = ρAv which means that the slip

ratio can be defined as

ṁg ρl Al xρl 1−α

S= =

ρg Ag ṁl (1 − x)ρg α

1−x 1−β x

=

ρl β ρg

and therefore

β 1−α

S=

1−β α

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