Unsteadiness and transition to turbulence in woven spacer filled channels for Membrane Distillation

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To characterize the performance of Membrane Distillation (MD) modules, channels filled with woven spacers were investigated by Computational Fluid Dynamics (including Direct Numerical Simulations and the use of the SST k-Ï turbulence model) and by parallel experiments with Thermochromic Liquid Crystals. The cases considered here regard mutually orthogonal filaments with a spacer pitch to channel height ratio P/H=2, two spacer orientations θ with respect to the main flow (0° and 45°), and bulk Reynolds numbers Re from â¼200 to â¼2000, an interval of great interest in practical MD applications. For both values of θ, CFD predicted steady-state flow for Re up to â¼300, and chaotic flow for Re larger than â¼400. In the intermediate range Reâ300-400, periodic flow regimes were predicted for both orientations. These regimes were of particular interest and complexity, as they exhibited a slow global oscillation of the flow superimposed on high order harmonics corresponding to fast local oscillations. Experiments confirmed the appearance of unsteadiness for Re>â¼300. Heat transfer and friction were little affected by unsteadiness and exhibited a smooth behaviour with Re. The agreement with the experimental results was good using DNS, and acceptable using RANS.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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