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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

QNET - CFD
Application Challenge

Cyclonic Separator
Presented
by
Dr. Michael Slack

FLUENT EUROPE LTD


Sheffield Airport Business Park
Europa Link . Sheffield . S9 1XU . UK

Contract No.: GTC1 - CT99 - 10030 24th May 2002


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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Contents
• Introduction
• how it works
• Typical applications
• Relevance to industrial sector
• Complexities of the flow and modelling approach which may be
taken.
• The Application Challenge
• Experimental Test Case
• CFD Modelling Solution Strategies
• Development of best practice
• Boundary conditions
• Validation of turbulence models
• Numerical accuracy
• Comparison with experimental results
• Conclusions and sensitivity discussion (LES findings)

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

The Cyclone
• The cyclone is a separation device that induces swirl rotation in a liquid and
therefore imposes an enhanced radial acceleration on a particulate or liquid
suspension for the purpose of separation or classification. When applied to
liquids they are termed hydrocyclones.

• Uses
• Particle Classifier
• Phase Separation
• Thickener

• Example applications
• Mineral Processing (Sorting course material from fine in grinding circuits)
• Oil Industry (oil water, sand and gas separation)
• Cement Industry (reactor, classifier and dust extraction)

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Overflow
Fine
Vortex Finder

Dust in Slurry In
Inlet

Inlet

Underflow

Coarse

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Advantages
•Easy of use
•High volume throughput
•Simple and Compact mechanical design
•Reliable

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
cl cl cl
Vortex finder
Illustration of how the tangential velocity profile consists of both free
and forced vortex swirl
Inlet

v
= cons tan t
r

forced v ⋅ r = cons tan t


vortex Transistion
free
Locus of vortex
zero velocity

Tangential velocity
+ ve

Tangential velocity profile

Wall

Apex
0
cl cl cl Radius

Tangential velocity Axial velocity Axisymmetric Flow patterns

Showing the tangential and axial velocity distributions in a cyclone based


on published experimental observations MDS 16/05/01
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Cyclone design and operation


•Analytical modelling

•Requires simplifying assumptions to linearise the fundamental


equations, (Batchelor).

•Physical modelling

•Expensive and slow

•Numerical modelling

•Recent advances in computers and numerical techniques has led to the


application of numerical techniques for cyclone design, (Boysan).

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Modelling complexities
•Physical
•Large number of influencing parameters

•The flow field is essentially 3-dimensional and can only be assumed


axisymmetric in the simplified case.

•High stream line curvature

•Anisotropic turbulence (high shear associated with free vortex


motion in main flow)

•High volume concentrations of dispersed phase.

•Numerical
•The elliptic partial differential equations governing fluid flow are
non- linear and when swirl is present strongly coupled.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Modelling Approaches.
• Analytical Modelling
• Improves awareness of the physical mechanics involved but can only be applied to simple geometry's
• Bloor, M.I.G. and Ingham, D.B., 1973, 1986 Leeds University.
• Batchelor, G. K., 1967, An introduction to fluid dynamics, Cambridge University Press, pp. 543-547.

• Numerical modelling
• Allows a wider scope of boundary conditions to be applied and is much more flexible.
• Workers in this field:
F. Boysan 1984
Pericleous, K. A. and Rhodes, N., 1984, 1986.
Davidson, M. R., 1988.
Hargreaves, J. H. and Silvester, R. S., 1990.
Rajamani, R. K. et al., 1990, 1992.
Dyakowski, T. and Williams, R.A., 1993.
Fernando Concha A., 1997.
Slack, M. D. and Wraith A. E., 1997.
Slack, M. D. and F. Boysan. 1998.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Turbulence Modelling
Engineers are not interested in the details of the turbulent motions
but on the mean properties of the flow.

There is then no need to solve equations for instantaneous


variables if averaged values are all that is required.

The numerical treatment of the statistical averaged Navier-Stokes


equations are required to provide a value for the Reynolds stress at
each point in the flow.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Types of Turbulence model


• The choice of turbulence model should be the one best suited to the particular flow problem.

• Which one ?
• Prandtl Mixing length model
• Treat the N-S Equations as lamina but solve them for a modified turbulent viscosity derived from a
prandtl mixing length model
• Eddy Viscosity Models
• 2-equation k-epsilon model.
• Renormalisation group [RNG] k-epsilon model.
• Second Moment Closure Models
• Uses differential transport equations to solve the stresses at each point in the system, eg. The Reynolds
Stress Model [RSM].
• Large Eddy LES !
• Current state of the art Research level turbulence model. Transient calculation on a fine mesh to solve
the large eddies directly with a sub-grid scale model to represent those eddies smaller than the mesh and
faster than the time step.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Tangential velocity profiles at 0.41 m below the vortex finder predicted using
SKE, RNG and RSM compared with experimental data.

+ k-epsilon, RNG, –— RSM, ∆ experiment [LDA]

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Axial velocity profiles at 0.41 m below the vortex finder predicted using
SKE, RNG and RSM compared with experimental data.

+ k-epsilon, RNG, –— RSM, ∆ experiment [LDA]

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Stairmand Cyclone geometry used for application challenge


Overflow/vortex finder (Outflow
boundary)
Radial Profile
0m
measurement
Tangential Inlet
locations Boundary (velocity)
0.154m

0.1m 0.103m

0.103m 0.308m
0.32m 0.04m
0.35m
0.38m
0.41m 0.205m
0.82m

0.59m
0.62m
0.66m

0.77m
0.80m

0.074m

Underflow or spigot (wall


boundary)

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Model Inputs

• Air inflow rate 0.08 m3/s


• Release Density 1.225 kg/m3
• Viscosity 1.7894e-5 kg m-1
• Inlet Reynolds Number 10e+4 – 10e+5
• Average residence time in cyclone 0.25 seconds

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Experimental Strategy

• LDA tangential and axial Velocity measurements recorded on
radial lines at vertical distances 0.32, 0.38, 0.41, 0.59, 0.62,
0.66, 0.77, 0.8 m from top of cyclone.
• Closest approach to walls 0.00924 m
• Error on peak velocities are estimated to be ± 0.25 m/s
• Experimental results were presented by Ayers et al. 1983,
Theoretical modelling of cyclone performance, Filtech
Conference

Inflow

Measurements taken along this


line

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

CFD Modelling strategy



• Highly swirling flow in cyclone separator
• Course 40,000 cell hexahedral mesh
• High-order upwind scheme was used.
• Computed with Reynolds Stress anisotropic turbulence model
with the standard wall functions.
• Solved in a Cartesian coordinate system as apposed to a
cylindrical coordinate system therefore requiring higher order
discretisation to avoid numerical diffusion.
• PRESTO (Pressure staggered Option) Pressure interpolation
scheme. Essential for high swirl.
• QUICK discretisation scheme for
• Momentum
• Turbulent Kinetic energy
• Turbulent disipation rate
• Reynolds Stress MDS 16/05/01
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Grid Pressure contours Path Lines depicting typical


airflow patterns expected

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Tangential Axial
0 cm

32
35
38
41

59
62
66
35 m/s
14 m/s
77
80 0 0

Tangential and axial profiles predicted at all the experimental axial locations.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Position 32. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

Position 35. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

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–— CFD, ∆ experiment [LDA]
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Position 38. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

Position 41. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

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–— CFD, ∆ experiment [LDA]
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Position 59. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

Position 66. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

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–— CFD, ∆ experiment [LDA]
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002
Position 77. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

Position 81. Axial & tangential velocity experimental v Predicted .

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–— CFD, ∆ experiment [LDA]
Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Conclusions Discussion
A best practice approach for cyclonic flow modelling has
produced.
This documented has been compiled based on modelling
experience in this area.
The RSM turbulence combined with high order
discretisation schemes provides an engineering tool suitable
for this type of flow problem. And can give satisfactory
results on relatively course meshes.
But what about sensitivity to grid density and more
advanced turbulence models ? (LES) ?
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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Large Eddy Simulation (LES)


• The contribution of large, energy containing eddies to
momentum and energy transfer is exactly computed while the
effect of small (subgrid) scales is modeled
• LES involves transient, three-dimensional simulations
• Computational requirements are intermediate between those
required for RANS and DNS
• Very useful in simulating many transient physical processes
• Advantage of a Cyclone for LES is the short residence time
of the fluid. Sub grid scales are therefore not as important.

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Problem Description
• Hexahedral mesh of 700,000
cells
• QUICK discretization scheme
• Second-order time marching
scheme
• LES-RNG subgrid model
• Time step = 100 µs
• 4 days of CPU time on an 8-
Processor HP machine

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Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

Contours of Velocity Magnitude from LES

Instantaneous Instantaneous Averaged over T=0.25 s MDS 16/05/01


Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

LES
Cyclone
Animations

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Velocity magnitude Axial vorticity Velocity vectors
Comparison between the tangential velocity at various stations as predicted by the RSM model, the time averaged LES
results, and the experimental data (∆ Experimental data;  RSM model; - - - Time averaged LES results).

Application Challenge – Cyclone Separator QNET 2002

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