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Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

DOI 10.1007/s00231-006-0189-4


Flows in a lower half heated upper half cooled cylindrical model

reactor loaded with porous media
Hongmin Li Æ Changhu Xing Æ Minel J. Braun

Received: 4 April 2006 / Accepted: 14 August 2006 / Published online: 19 October 2006
 Springer-Verlag 2006

Abstract This paper presents an experimental and ks conductivity of the solid

numerical investigation on the natural convection flow kw conductivity of the reactor glass wall
in a cylindrical model hydrothermal reactor. The flow P pressure
is visualized non-intrusively and simulated with a Pr Prandtl number
conjugate computational model. Results show that the Q total heat flow rate on lower half wall
flow structure consists of wall layers and core flows. In RaDi Rayleigh number based on Di
the lower half, the flows are steady due to the porous S source term in the momentum equation of the
media. The three-dimensional unsteady upper core porous media model
flow is driven by the streams originated from the wall T temperature
layer collision. The thermal condition in the upper half T0 reference temperature
core region is mainly determined by the total heat flow Tinf air temperature in the surrounding
rate specified on the lower sidewall; while the varia- environment, 24.3C
tions of porous media parameters, in the normal range Tcu time averaged temperature at the center of
for hydrothermal crystal growth process, have minor the upper half
effects. t time
Tu temperature at the center of the upper half
T0u temperature at the center of the upper half
List of symbols when Q = Q0
C1, C2 coefficients in the porous media model ~
U velocity vector
Cp heat capacity wu z-velocity at the center of the upper half
Db diameter of the balls in the porous region w0u z-velocity at the center of the upper half when
Di inner diameter of the reactor, 50 mm Q = Q0
F buoyancy force x, y, z coordinates
g gravity vector xp coordinates in pixel in the corrected images
gx gravity component in x-direction x¢p coordinates in pixel in the raw images
gz gravity component in z-direction
H height of the reactor, 305 mm
keff effective conductivity in the porous region
kf conductivity of the fluid Greeks
b thermal expansion coefficient of the fluid
q fluid density
h angle between gravity and z-axis of the reactor
H. Li (&)  C. Xing  M. J. Braun / porosity in the porous region
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA l molecular viscosity
e-mail: m m = l/q

1202 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

1 Introduction conditions. Due to the difficulties associated with

experiments under such conditions, most of the
investigations were numerical. To date, experimental
Flows in lower half heated upper half cooled enclo-
data or even qualitative flow structure are rarely
sures became the focus of various research efforts due
documented in the literature. The best description of
to their applications on the design and the mixing/flow
the flow structure in the literature is the one specu-
control in chemical reaction vessels, such as hydro-
lated by Klipov and Shmakov [5] according to the
thermal autoclaves and super critical water reactors.
industry growth experience and the geometries/shapes
Hydrothermal growth is the industry method of pref-
of the grown crystals.
erence to obtain high quality crystals [1]. Detailed
descriptions on the crystal growth process have been
given by Kuznetsov and Lobachev [2, 3] and Byrappa
2 Scope of work
[4]. The physical–chemical reactions involved in the
dissolving-growth process require two temperature
In this paper, we shall experimentally visualize the
zones, a high temperature zone to dissolve the raw
unsteady laminar flow structure in a cylindrical lower
materials (that have positive temperature solubility
half heated upper half cooled model reactor. A
coefficient) and a zone with a lower temperature for
numerical model will be first validated and then used
the growth of the seed crystals. In a hydrothermal
for parametric studies on the determining factor of the
growth vessel, the high temperature zone is always the
thermal environment in the upper half.
lower half while the upper half of the vessel is cooled.
With such a heating/cooling configuration, an overall
vertical temperature gradient is established in the fluid
and drives a natural convection flow. Such a natural 3 Experimental system
convection flow is critical for the growth quality and
uniformity. First, the fluid flow transports the dissolved 3.1 The visualization system
crystal material form the raw material zone to the
growth region [2]. Secondly, the actual local tempera- The experimental system, shown in Fig. 1, consists of
ture distribution in the growth region, which deter- the test section (the model reactor), the lighting
mines the growth rate and quality, is affected assembly, the stepless power supply, the camera, and
significantly by the flow structure [5]. the image processing computer. With a group of
Super critical water reactors are popularly used to cylindrical/spherical lenses, the cylindrical light from
oxidize toxic/nontoxic chemical byproducts. The reac- the light source is turned into a light sheet with the
tion rates depend strongly on the mixing in the reac-
tors. Since such reactors are working at the super
Train of lenses
critical conditions of water, active mixing enhancement Mirror Light source

techniques, such as propellers or pumps, are prohibi-

tive. The buoyancy-driven flows, however, are a prac-
tical technique to drive/enhance the heat transfer and Light
mixing. Sheet
The flows in such reaction vessels cover a wide range Image acquisition
of flow regimes from steady laminar to highly turbulent and processing

flows depending on the dimensions of the vessel and Digital

the pressure and temperature conditions. Roux [6] and A
Chen at al. [7, 8] studied flows in small scale hydro-
thermal growth vessels in the laminar regime. The
highly turbulent flow in industry size autoclaves has
been studied in detail by the present author [9–12].
0 - 110 v
Comparatively the flow characteristics in the unsteady
laminar regime, corresponding to the natural convec-
tion flow in medium size vessels, have not been well
studied to date. 110 v

The chemical reactions carried out in the vessels

are normally at high pressure and high temperature Fig. 1 Schematic of the experimental system

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1203

thickness less than 0.5 mm. The fluid in the reactor is insulation layer is wrapped to reduce the heat loss to
seeded with magnesium oxide tracing particles, 5– surroundings. The upper half of the reactor is exposed
20 lm in diameter. The light sheet, through the trans- to the surrounding air and subjects to the surrounding
parent lid at the top, illuminates a vertical plane in the natural convection cooling. Inside the reactor, the
reactor. The digital camera records the flow image in lower half (152.5 mm in height) is loaded with glass
the upper half of the reactor. The image processing balls of diameter 9.80 ± 0.01 mm. With the total vol-
computer digitally corrects the image and removes the ume of the glass balls and the volume of the lower half,
deformation caused by the fluid in the reactor and the the porosity in the lower half is calculated to be
reactor sidewall. 0.439 ± 0.001.

3.2 The model reactor 3.3 Digital image correction

The model reactor is a cylindrical glass enclosure as The flow image acquired by the digital camera is de-
shown in Fig. 2. The body of the enclosure is a Pyrex formed by the lens effects of the fluid in the reactor and
glass pipe with inner diameter of 50 mm and wall the glass wall as shown in Fig. 3a. The illuminated
thickness of 5 mm. The height of the pipe is 305 mm. plane is the center vertical cross-section in the
The bottom of the pipe is sealed by a Teflon plate
compressed on by a pair of flanges. The top of the pipe a) Half of the cylinder as
is covered by a one-inch-thick plexy-glass plate. The a lens deforms the
lower part of the reactor, 127.5 mm in height, is image
warped with an electrical heater that supplies uniform Illuminated
heat flux. On the outside the heating element, thick plane Camera

Glass lid



d) 600

xp number of pixels

heater 400


Insulation 200


0 100 200 300 400 500 600
xp' number of pixels

Fig. 3 Digital image correction for the lens effect of the

Teflon plate cylindrical reactor. a Schematic of the deformation. b Deformed
image of the grid. c Grid image without deformation. d Image
Fig. 2 Schematic of the experimental model reactor correction curve

1204 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

cylindrical reactor. The fluid and the glass wall be- The full Navier–Stokes, continuity and energy
tween the illuminated plane and the camera, which equations in the fluid domain and the heat conduction
have much higher light diffraction coefficients, deform equation in the glass wall are solved interactively in a
the image. In order to remove the deformation, the feedback mode. In vector format, the governing
flow images need to be digitally corrected. First a grid equations are given by Eqs. 1–6.
plate is constructed. An image of the grid is taken with In the upper half fluid domain, the continuity,
the grid located at the center of the model reactor filled momentum, and energy equations are:
with the working fluid. This image, as shown in Fig. 3b,
contains the deformation caused by the lens effect. ~ ¼ 0;
rU ð1Þ
Then, the grid is removed out of the reactor and a
second image is taken. The later image, Fig. 3c, has no
þU ~ ¼  1 gradP þ mr2 U
~  rU ~ þ~
F; ð2Þ
deformation. By comparing the grid node locations on @t q
these two images, one obtains an image correction
curve as shown in Fig. 3d. This curve removes the @T ~ kf
þ U  rT ¼ r2 T: ð3Þ
deformation caused by the lens effect as one transform @t q  Cp
the raw image (in x¢-coordinate) into the corrected
Since the lower half of the reactor is loaded with
image (in x-coordinate) pixel by pixel. The same
glass balls, a porous media model is employed. The
camera focus length and the distance between the
momentum equation becomes
illuminated plane and the camera are used to take
photos of the flow field during the experiments. The ~
@U ~  rU ~ ¼  1 gradP þ mr2 U ~ þ~
camera aperture is adjusted to adapt to the light den- þU F þ S; ð4Þ
sity from the light source. The illuminated plane is @t q

aligned with the camera focusing plane by moving the whereS ¼ C1  l  U~ þ C2  1 q  U
~  U:
~ C1 and C2 are
camera while the camera focusing length is fixed. The two coefficients defined by C1 = 150(1–/)2 /(Db 2/ 3 )
raw flow images, containing the deformation caused by and C2 = 3.5(1–/)/(Db/ 3 ). The energy equation in
the lens effects, are then digitally corrected with the the porous region uses an effective conductivity to
curve shown in Fig. 3d to remove the image deforma- account for the effects of the glass balls on the heat
tion. transfer in the fluid domain.

@T ~ keff
4 Numerical model þ U  rT ¼ r2 T; ð5Þ
@t qeff  Cpeff

A three-dimensional (3-D) conjugate model is used to where keff = /kf + (1–/)ks is the effective conduc-
simulate the fluid flow and heat transfer in the model tivity. q eff and Cpeff are calculated in the same manner.
reactor. Figure 4a presents a schematic of the model In the region that filled with glass balls, a homoge-
embodiment while Fig. 4b shows a vertical cross-sec- nous porous media model is employed to simulate the
tion. On the outside of the upper chamber wall, a fluid flow and heat transfer. The source term in the
natural convection boundary condition is specified. momentum equation, S, counts for the drag force ex-
The room temperature measured during the experi- erted on the fluid by the solid blocks. The parameters,
ments, 24.3C, is used as the surrounding temperature. keff, qeff, and Cpeff are used to model the heat transfer
The natural convection coefficient on the outside of the in such a region. One should be noted that this sim-
upper chamber wall is chosen to be 4.92 W/m2/C plification neglected the temperature difference be-
according to Rohsenow et al. [13], which accounts for tween the solid block and the surrounding fluid. In
the curvature effect of the vertical cylindrical surface. other words, the solid and the fluid are assumed at
Both the top and bottom walls are considered adiabatic thermal equilibrium locally. This approach is chosen
due the Teflon plate at the bottom and thick plexy- due to the following reasons. (1) Both experimental
glass plate on the top. On the lower chamber sidewall and numerical research efforts have indicated that in
from D to C in Fig. 4b, a uniform heat flux boundary, the closed vessels used for industry hydrothermal
249.7 W/m2, is applied to represent the heating pro- growth of crystals, fluid temperature fluctuates with a
vided by the electrical heating element. The part of the very small magnitude. In most of the cases, tempera-
lower half wall near the median height, from C to B in ture fluctuation magnitude is smaller than 0.1C. (2) In
Fig. 4b, has an adiabatic condition. such lower heated upper cooled vessels, the flow is

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1205

temperature differentials. In this model reactor, the

temperature variation in the fluid (upper fluid region
a) z b) z and the lower porous region) is less than 4C. In
industry hydrothermal reactors, the total temperature
difference is normally smaller than 10C. With such
small temperature variations, density variations are
negligible in the above governing equations other than
the buoyancy term.
The above equations are solved with the geometry
shown in Fig. 4, and boundary conditions described
above. Pure water is used as the working fluid in the
experiments, and the properties of water at 1 atm and
47.1C are used in the numerical model. Based on the
reactor inner diameter, Di, the Rayleigh num-
y gbDTD3i
ber,RaDi ¼ m 2 Pr ¼ 5:93  107 ; indicating an un-
B steady laminar flow.
x x
C The above partial differential equations (1–6) are
solved iteratively using a finite volume based algorithm.
The unsteady flow solution uses a time marching tech-
nique with a time step of 0.02 s. The residuals of conti-
nuity, momentum, and energy equations are lower than
10– 5, 10– 5, and 10– 6, respectively for each time step
convergence. An under-relaxation procedure follows
each of the iterations and the under-relaxation factors
for mass, momentum, and energy equations are 0.6, 0.7,
D and 0.9, respectively. All the simulation runs are carried
out on a Dell Precision work station equipped with a
Fig. 4 The three-dimensional embodiment (a) and a cross- 3.4 GHz processor and 4 Gb memories.
sectional view (b) of the numerical model To evaluate the numerical results convergence and
unsteady, but the flow velocities and temperature vary increase the confidence on the model predictions, a
with time only slowly. In other words, the time period grid convergence study is performed. The temperature
of the variation is very long. The slow variation gives at the center of the upper chamber is chosen as the
enough time for the solid blocks and the surrounding parameter for the grid convergence study since it
fluid to approach local thermal equilibrium. For the embodies the overall effects of heat transfer form the
model reactor studied in this paper, the flow in the heated lower chamber wall to the upper chamber wall
porous media region is steady. Not fluctuations of flow exposed to the surrounding environment cooling.
velocity and temperature are observed. Flows in the reactor are simulated with three sets of
In the reactor glass wall (both the lower and the unstructured grids. The grid densities and the time
upper halves), the energy equation is the heat con- averaged temperatures at the center of the upper
duction equation: chamber are presented in Table 1. By comparing the
difference between the results from the three sets of
@T kw grids, the authors think that grid independence is
 r2 T ¼ 0: ð6Þ
@t qCp achieved with the Grid#3 configuration. Thus, the
numerical results presented henceforth are all based on
In all the above equations, fluid density is a constant the Grid#3 density.
except the body force term (Boussinesq assumption).
The body force is the flow driving buoyancy for-
F ¼ g  b  ðT  T0 Þ: The thermal expansion coeffi- 5 Results and discussion
cient, b, counts for the change of density due to
temperature variation. The reference temperature T0 is 5.1 Flow structure in the reactor
set to be the volume average of the fluid temperatures
in the reactor, 47.1C. Boussinesq assumption is em- Figure 5 shows the flow structure in the vertical center
ployed in this study due to the small total flow driving cross-section of the reactor. Figure 5a, b is the raw

1206 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

Table 1 The results of grid independence study At the median height, the downward wall layer
Grid #1 #2 #3
along the upper wall interacts with the hot fluid rising
up from the porous lower half. After a complicated
Grid size 316,720 624,375 1,283,840 interaction, the high temperature fluid rises into the
Tcu  Tinf 42.4604 42.4790 42.4769 upper core region in a transient 3-D fashion. At the
% Difference 4.37E-04 – 4.78E-05
top, the downward wall layer starts with the turning of
the upward core flow and brings the fluid towards the
images and the digitally corrected image, respectively,
median height.
while Fig. 5c is the numerically simulated flow profile.
One should be noted that Fig. 5c shows simulated flow
5.2 Flow structure near the porous region surface
at one time moment (snap shot), while the photos in
Fig. 5a was taken with an exposure time of 4 s and the
The flow structure at the median height, above the top-
trajectories of the tracing particles show the flow pat-
surface of the porous zone, is 3-D. Figure 6a, b is the
tern. With the above flow structure, one can see that
experimentally visualized flow image and the numeri-
the flow consists of wall layers and the center core
cal simulated one, respectively. In Fig. 6b, the inter-
regions. With the natural convection cooling on the
action between the downward wall layer from the
outside of the upper wall, a downward wall layer is
upper half and the upward wall layer from the lower
formed along the upper sidewall. The thickness of the
half can be clearly recognized. The flow action in this
wall layer is small compared to the diameter of the
region includes the following two aspects. First, the 3-
reactor. Bounded/surrounded by the wall layer is the
D mixing caused by the interaction between the wall
core region. Both Fig. 5 and the observations in the
layers tends to homogenize the fluid temperature.
experiments indicate that the flow in the upper core
Secondly, due to the effects of buoyancy force, the hot
region is 3-D and highly transient. The 3-D mixing in
fluid tends to rise into the upper core and the cold fluid
the core region is strong. And the flow velocity is rel-
sink into the porous lower core. The above two aspects,
atively high. When the streams in the center core head
together, determines the temperatures in the upper
toward and impinge onto the wall layer, the wall layer
and the lower cores.
thickness is noticeably reduced. In other words, the
Two distinct upward streams can be clearly seen
wall layer flow is also transient due to the stream–wall
in the experimental flow image shown in Fig. 6a.
layer interaction.

Fig. 5 Flow pattern in a

center vertical cross-section.
a Raw experimental image.
b Digitally corrected
experimental image.
c Numerically simulated flow

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1207

existence of the porous media, which creates additional

resistances for the fluid flow and heat transfer, the flow
in the lower half is significantly weaker (lower flow
velocity in Fig. 7b). However, the components of flow
structure, the upward wall layer and the core region,
can still be recognized. In the lower half, the fluid near
the sidewall is heated. The hot fluid rises along the
sidewall till the median height. In both halves, the main
temperature gradients in the fluid are mainly in the
wall layer while the core regions have a relatively
uniform temperature, as shown in Fig. 7a. This almost
uniform temperature distribution indicates that the
mixing between the hot and cold fluid at the median
height dominates the interaction between the wall
layers while separation process driven by the buoyancy
force has minor effects.
The time dependent fluid flow and temperature in
the upper half can be further shown with Fig. 8, the
numerically simulated vertical velocity (z-velocity),
Fig. 8a, and the temperature, Fig. 8b, at the center of
the upper half (x = 0, y = 0, z/H = 0.25). The vertical
component of the flow velocity varies significantly,
from 0 to 8 mm/s while the temperature varies only in a
± 0.1C range. The small magnitude of temperature
fluctuation is an clear indicator that the highly transient
3-D mixing in the upper half is not caused by the
temperature variation in the upper half core (Fig. 7a
shows uniform temperature in the upper core region
and Fig. 8b shows small temperature variation at a
Fig. 6 Flow near the top of the porous region. a Digitally fixed location), but by the wall layer interaction at the
corrected experimental images. b Numerically simulated flow median height. After the interaction between the wall-
layer flows, the strong 3-D upward streams are formed
and these streams drive the 3-D transient mixing in the
Experimental observations also evidenced that the upper core.
formation and location of these upward flow streams in
the core region vary with the top surface structure of 5.4 Quantitative comparisons
the porous region. Slight change in the porous zone top
surface (movement of the glass balls at the top) results Due to the 3-D and highly transient nature of the flow
in different locations of the upward streams. In the in the upper core, no velocity data are experimentally
numerical model, the porous region is assumed to be measured in this study. However, temperature at the
homogeneous and the top of the porous region is as- center of the upper half is measured with an accurate
sumed a flat/horizontal surface. By comparing the low noise k-type thermocouple. The fluid temperature
experimental and numerical results, one can see that was read and recorded by the data acquisition system
the flat-top-surface simplification leads to slightly dif- every 0.1 s in a time period of 300 s. The average of the
ferent flow structure in the region above the porous 3,000 temperature readings is 44.8C. With the
zone. One must be noted that this simplification does numerical model, the flow was simulated with a time
not have noticeable effects on the overall flow behavior step of 0.02 s. The temperature at the center of the
in the upper half and the heat transfer. upper half is recorded during a flow time of 300 s. The
average of the 15,000 temperature values is 44.98C.
5.3 Temperature field established by the flow The difference between experimental measured and
the model predicted time-averaged temperatures,
Figure 7 shows the temperature distribution and the (44.98–44.8)/44.8=0.4%, is negligibly small. The heat
fluid flow in a vertical center cross-section. Due to the loss to the surrounding through the insulation in the

1208 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

Fig. 7 Temperature and flow

structure in the model reactor

lower half is one of the reasons that cause the above and gx = 0 (corresponding to h = 0) to gz = gcos
0.4% difference. Comparing the experimental and (h) and gx = gsin (h) for the reactor tilted h towards
experimental results, the authors conclude that the +x direction.
agreement between the experimental data and the The experimentally visualized flow structure and the
numerical model prediction is reasonably good and the numerically simulated one are given in Fig. 9a, b,
numerical model can be employed with confidence in respectively. In a tilted reactor, the flow structure are
future efforts. qualitatively the same as the one without tiltness
(h = 0). The wall layers are developed along the side-
5.5 Effects of tiltness walls. In the upper core, the flow is 3-D and transient. In
the lower half, both the wall layer and the core flow
The effect of the tiltness of the reactor on the flow is appear steady. The quantitative difference is on the wall
one important issue since in industry reality not layer thickness in the upper half. The wall layer at the
reactor can be perfectly vertical. In this section, we left hand side is weaker than the wall layer at the right
examine the effects of a h = 2 tiltness. The above hand side due to the tiltness of the reactor. Normally, for
model is used to simulate the flow in the tilted reac- both the industry scale and the laboratory scale reac-
tor. Instead of constructing a new grid, we use the tions vessels, the degree of tiltness can be kept less than
same grid and change the gravity vector, from gz = g 2. In other words, the flow structure presented in this

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1209

10 thermal crystal growth vessels. One can conclude that

the ball/pallet size in the porous zone has minor effects
8 on the thermal environment in the upper half.
The second parametric study is on the porosity of the
porous region. The ball diameter in the porous media

and the heat flux on the lower wall are fixed. The
4 porosity of the porous region is the only parameter that

varies from 0.439 to 0.768. / = 0.439 corresponds to a

2 well compactly packed porous region. In industry
hydrothermal growth reactor, / = 0.768 is the maxi-
mum possible porosity. Further increase of the porosity
will lead to the collapse of the porous structure. Within
the above range of porosities, the time averaged tem-
45.1 perature and vertical velocity at the center of the upper
half are again chosen to represent the thermal envi-
T - Tinf C

ronments in the upper half and shown in Fig. 10b. One


notices immediately that the variation of the porosity in
the porous region in the range from 0.439 to 0.768 has
44.9 minor effects on the thermal environments in the upper
half. One can conclude that in industry growth reactor,
the variation of porosity, either caused by the initial
0 50 100 150 200 250 porosity or the dissolving of the raw material, has minor
t - t0 effects on the thermal environment in the upper half.
The third parametric study is on the heat flow rate
Fig. 8 The fluctuations of flow velocity and fluid temperature at on the lower half wall. We kept the ball size and the
the center of the upper half (x = 0, y = 0, z/H = 0.25) porosity fixed and varied only the heat flux on the
lower wall. As shown in Fig. 10c, the temperature and
paper is typical in all reaction vessels at practice in the the vertical velocity at the center of the upper half
unsteady laminar/transitional flow regime. change linearly with the total heat flow rate. The above
three parametric studies have clearly shown that the
5.6 Parametric studies with the numerical model determining factor of the thermal environment in the
upper half is the heat flow rate imposed on the lower
The first parametric study is the effects of the ball size half wall. The numerical efforts by Chen et al. [7, 8] on
(in the porous region) on the thermal environment in a low aspect ratio lower half heated upper half cooled
the upper core. In hydrothermal growth vessels, the enclosure employed constant temperature boundaries
initial sizes of the raw material pellets are normally for the upper and lower walls. The flow and tempera-
different for different growth runs. The pallet size re- ture in the upper half change significantly when the
duces as it the raw material is gradually dissolved. In this porosity varies. However, the variation of the porosity
section, we use the above experimentally validated in the porous zone also leads to the variation of the
numerical model to simulate the flow and heat transfer heat flow rate since constant temperatures are specified
in the model reactor with various ball-sizes in the porous on the lower and upper walls. Unfortunately, the heat
region. The specified heat flux on the lower wall and the flow rates were not correlated to the flow characteris-
porosity in the porous media region are all fixed. The tics and thermal environments in the upper half. With
only parameter that varies is the diameter (size) of the the results presented in this paper, one can see the heat
solid balls. The size of the ball in the porous median flow arte on the lower wall is actually the fundamental
region affects the momentum equations through the two determining factor for the flow and thermal conditions
coefficients C1 and C2. The temperature and the vertical in the reactor upper half.
velocity at the center of the upper half are compared in
Fig. 10a. As one can see, the time averaged temperature
and the vertical velocity at the upper half stay as con- 6 Remarks on applications
stants when the ball size varies in the range of 4.9 to
14.7 mm corresponding to 0.1 < Db/Di < 0.3, which is With the upper half sidewall cooled, wall layer flow is
the normal range of the raw material sizes for hydro- developed along the upper side wall. As found in the

1210 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

Fig. 9 Flow in the reactor

with two degree tiltness
(h = 2). a Digitally corrected
experimental image.
b Numerically simulated flow

growth experience, seed crystals hung in the wall layer The raw material pellet size and the porosity change
grow into low quality crystals with low uniformity. For during a growth run. As shown by the parametric
growth vessels that are cooled on the upper sidewall, studies, however, the variations of these parameters
growers should avoid putting seed crystals in the region have only minor effects on the environments for
near the sidewall. growth. The thermal and flow conditions in the growth
The collision of the wall layer flows establishes a zone, which determines the growth uniformity and
strong mixing between the hot and cold fluid at the quality, depend the heat flow rate on the lower wall.
median height. The mixing, in turn, leads to the close- Crystal growers should measure and monitor such a
to-uniform temperature in the two cores. For crystal heat flow rate through out the growth run.
growth, the ideal growth vessel should have two zones Chemical reactors, such as super critical water
with clearly different temperatures and perfect mixing reactors, need strong mixing to increase the reaction
in the growth zone. For this purpose, the wall layer speeds. The heating/cooling patches on the vessel walls
collision at the median height should be eliminates can be designed to establish two wall layers that flow in
(e.g., by a deflecting baffle). On the other hand, the the opposite directions. The mixing driven by the wall
strong streams formed after the collision drive the layer flow collision is an ideal passive mixing
mixing in the upper core, which is necessary for a enhancement technique for the closed reaction vessels.
better growth uniformity. For the later reason,
stream(s) should be established in the upper core. With
the above two aspects, a single hole baffle is recom- 7 Conclusions
mended. First the baffle can eliminate the wall layer
collision. Secondly, the stream originated at the baffle The flow and heat transfer in a cylindrical model
opening/hole drives the mixing in the growth zone. hydrothermal reactor is experimentally and numeri-

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1211

Fig. 10 Determining factor 0.6

for the thermal environments
a) b) c)
in the upper half. a The

(Tu - Tu ) / Tu
effects of the size of the balls.

b The effects of the porosity. 0.0
c The effects of heat flow rate

0.6 Fixed Q, φ Fixed Q, Db Fixed φ, Db
Various Db, Db0=9.8mm Various φ, φ0=0.439 Various Q, Q0=3.1W
(wu - wu ) / wu



-0.50 -0.25 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 -0.50 -0.25 0.00 0.25 0.50
(Db - Db0) / Db0 (φ - φ0) / φ0 (Q - Q0) / Q0

cally investigated. The glass balls loaded in the lower References

half of the reactor are modeled as porous media. The
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