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12/18/2018 17.5.20.

Wall Boiling Models

17.5.20. 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 17–166 ), momentum ( Equation 17–167
), and energy ( Equation 17–170
). The wall boiling
phenomenon is modeled by the RPI nucleate boiling model of Kurual and Podowski [235] and an
extended formulation for the departed nucleate boiling regime (DNB) by Lavieville et al [248].

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, 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. 1/10
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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


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


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 [94]:


and is the subcooled Jacob number defined as:



Frequency of Bubble Departure 2/10
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Implementation of the RPI model normally uses the frequency of bubble departure as the one based
on inertia controlled growth (not really applicable to subcooled boiling). [80]


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 [254] are used, where and
. Other formulations are also available, such as Kocamustafaogullari and Ishii [228] where



Where is the bubble departure diameter and the density function is defined as


Bubble Departure Diameter

The default bubble departure diameter for the RPI model is based on empirical correlations [472] and
is calculated in meters as


while Kocamustafaogullari and Ishii [227] use


with being the contact angle in degrees.

The bubble departure diameter in millimeters based on the Unal relationship [480] is calculated as 3/10
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where is the flow pressure, is the wall superheat, is latent heat, is the
near wall bulk velocity, and m/s. 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


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 fraction. Lavieville et al [248] proposed the following expression:

(17–429) 4/10
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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
therefore 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 17–426
, 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, that is, between zero and one. Lavieville et al.
[248] 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. [469] suggested the following expression based on the vapor
volume fraction:

(17–431) 5/10
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Taking the thin film boiling into consideration in the wall heat flux partition, Ioilev et al. [187] used a
linear function to extend Equation 17–431
to the critical heat flux condition:


Where the breakpoints have been set to and .

In ANSYS Fluent, Equation 17–431 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, and so on), heat transfer and turbulence quantities will change

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 [469], [187]. 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.

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, 6/10
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turbulent drift force and heat transfer), then they are calculated using the following general form:


Here is computed using equation Equation 17–431 Equation 17–432

or , 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 five parts: drag, lift, wall lubrication, turbulent drift
forces, and virtual mass (described in Interphase Exchange Coefficients
). Various models are available
for each of these effects, some of which are specifically formulated for boiling flows. Also, user-
defined options are available. Interfacial Area

The interfacial area can be calculated using either a transport equation or algebraic models as
described in Interfacial Area Concentration
. For boiling flows, the algebraic formulations are typically
chosen. See Interfacial Area Concentration
for model details. Bubble and Droplet Diameters Bubble Diameter

By default, Fluent uses the following model for bubble diameter as a function of the local subcooling,


where: 7/10
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As an alternative, the bubble diameter, , can be given by the Unal correlation [480] :


To use the Unal correlation, Equation 17–435, you can use the following scheme command:
(rpsetvar 'mp/boiling/bubble-diameter-model 2)

To return to the default formulation, Equation 17–434, you can use the scheme command:
(rpsetvar 'mp/boiling/bubble-diameter-model 1) Droplet Diameter

When the flow regime transitions to mist flow, the droplet diameter can be assumed to be constant or
estimated by the Kataoka-Ishii correlation [209]:



is the vapor volumetric flux (superficial velocity)

is the local liquid Reynolds number
is the local vapor Reynolds number
is the liquid viscosity

is the vapor viscosity Interfacial Drag Force

The interfacial drag force is calculated using the standard model described in Interphase Exchange
Coefficients(and defined in the context of the interfacial area from Interfacial Area Concentration). As 8/10
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described in Fluid-Fluid Exchange Coefficient

, ANSYS Fluent offers several options to calculate the
drag force on dispersed phases. For boiling flows, the Ishii model ( Ishii Model
) is typically chosen,
though any of the models listed in Fluid-Fluid Exchange Coefficient
are available. Interfacial Lift Force

As described in Lift Force

, ANSYS Fluent offers several options to calculate the lift forces on the
dispersed phases. For boiling flows, this force is important in the nucleating boiling regime. In the RPI
model, the Tomiyama model ( Tomiyama Lift Force Model
) is usually chosen to account for the effects
of the turbulent dispersion force. Turbulent Dispersion Force

As described in Turbulent Dispersion Force

, ANSYS Fluent offers several options to calculate the
turbulent dispersion force. For boiling flows, this force is important in transporting the vapor from
walls to the core fluid flow regions. In the RPI model, the Lopez de Bertodano model ( Lopez de
Bertodano Model ) is usually chosen to account for the effects of the turbulent dispersion force. Wall Lubrication Force

As described in Wall Lubrication Force

, ANSYS Fluent offers several options to calculate the wall
lubrication force on the dispersed phases. For boiling flows, this force can be important in the
nucleating boiling regime. In the RPI model, the Antal et al. model ( ) is usually Antal et al. Model
chosen to account for the effects of the wall lubrication force. Virtual Mass Force

In the wall boiling models, the virtual mass force can be modeled using the standard correlation
implemented for the Eulerian multiphase model as described in . Virtual Mass Force 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 volumetric heat transfer coefficient. The heat transfer coefficient can be computed
using either the Ranz-Marshall or Tomiyama models described in The Heat Exchange Coefficient
. Interface to Vapor Heat Transfer 9/10
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The interface to vapor heat transfer is calculated using the constant time scale return to saturation
method [248]. It is assumed that the vapor retains the saturation temperature by rapid
evaporation/condensation. The formulation is as follows:


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 17–438

(17–439) 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 (that is, evaporation or condensation), the
interfacial mass transfer rate can be written as:

(17–440) Turbulence Interactions

To model boiling flows, turbulence interaction models are usually included in the multiphase
turbulence models to describe additional bubble stirring and dissipation. As described in Turbulence
Models , three options are available for boiling flows: Troshko-Hassan (default), Simonin et al, and

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