Comparison of two-phase pipe flow in openFOAM with a mechanistic model
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Two-phase pipe flow is a common occurrence in many industrial applications such as power generation and oil and gas transportation. Accurate prediction of liquid holdup and pressure drop is of vast importance to ensure effective design and operation of fluid transport systems. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of a two-phase flow of air and water is performed using OpenFOAM. The two-phase solver, interFoam is used to identify flow patterns and generate values of liquid holdup and pressure drop, which are compared to results obtained from a two-phase mechanistic model developed by Petalas and Aziz (2002). A total of 60 simulations have been performed at three separate pipe inclinations of 0°, +10° and -10° respectively. A three dimensional, 0.052m diameter pipe of 4m length is used with the Shear Stress Transport (SST) k - turbulence model to solve the turbulent mixtures of air and water. Results show that the flow pattern behaviour and numerical values of liquid holdup and pressure drop compare reasonably well to the mechanistic model.
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