A multi-dimensional dataset for two-phase instability in low pressure natural circulation based on direct transient local measurement

Taiyang Zhang, Zhiee Jhia Ooi, Maciej Skrzypek, Caleb S. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal hydraulic instability can challenge the control and the safety of nuclear reactors. This experimental research captures and investigates the instability in a low-pressure (1–10 atmospheres) natural circulation loop with an adiabatic chimney installed above the heated section. Direct transient local measurement of two-phase flow is performed at multiple axial locations along the flow channel with thermocouples and conductivity probes traversed by customized high-precision mechanisms. Based on the periodicity of oscillations, a post-processing method is proposed to align the data captured non-simultaneously to reconstruct the instability behavior in one representative period. The averaging operation over multiple oscillation cycles is performed to reduce the random errors. Cyclic phenomena are clearly demonstrated by the post-processed data, and rapid void fraction change induced by the flashing is observed to be significant in the driving mechanism for low pressure oscillations. Parametric effects of inlet subcooling, heat flux, inlet flow restriction and system pressure are studied within the experiment range, and qualitative results are explained and compared with existing literature. The ratio between the oscillation period and the travelling time of the fluid particle through the test section is compared with the theoretical value for the density wave oscillation. The new dataset contains directly measured transient multi-dimensional two-phase data along the flow channel for natural circulation under density wave oscillations. The generated dataset is valuable for the validation of system analysis codes and CFD codes in the simulation of natural circulation phenomena and dynamic two-phase flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119447
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Density wave
  • Flashing
  • Instability
  • Local measurement
  • Natural circulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'A multi-dimensional dataset for two-phase instability in low pressure natural circulation based on direct transient local measurement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this