Pressure Drop – Homogeneous Flow Model
The simplest approach to the prediction of two-phase flows is to treat the entire two-phase flow as if it were all liquid, except flowing at the two-phase mixture velocity. The two-phase pressure drops for flows inside pipes and channels are the sum of three contributions:
- the static pressure drop ∆pstatic (elevation head)
- the momentum pressure drop ∆pmom (fluid acceleration)
- the frictional pressure drop ∆pfrict
The total pressure drop of the two-phase flow is then:
∆ptotal = ∆pstatic + ∆pmom + ∆pfrict
The static and momentum pressure drops can be calculated similarly as in case of single-phase flow and using the homogeneous mixture density:
The most problematic term is the frictional pressure drop ∆pfrict, which is based on the single-phase pressure drop that is multiplied by the two-phase correction factor (homogeneous friction multiplier – Φlo2). By this approach the frictional component of the two-phase pressure drop is:
where (dP/dz)2f is frictional pressure gradient of two-phase flow and (dP/dz)1f is frictional pressure gradient if entire flow (of total mass flow rate G) flows as liquid in the channel (standard single-phase pressure drop). The term Φlo2 is the homogeneous friction multiplier, that can be derived according to various methods. One of possible multipliers is equal to Φlo2 = (1+xg(ρl/ρg – 1)) and therefore:
As can be seen this simple model suggests that the two-phase frictional losses are in any event higher than the single-phase frictional losses. The homogeneous friction multiplier increases rapidly with flow quality.
Typical flow qualities in steam generators and BWR cores are on the order of 10 to 20 %. The corresponding two phase frictional loss would then be 2 – 4 times that in an equivalent single-phase system.