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Limitations in the Use of the Equivalent Diameter

Licia Del Frate, Fabio Moretti, Giorgio Galassi, Francesco D’Auria

Abstract: This paper deals with the inaccuracy assessment of the friction pressure loss estimation based on Darcy formula combined with an equivalent hydraulic diameter and a friction factor valid for circular pipes when applied to a square rod bundle. The assessment has been done by comparing the analytical and semi-empirical predictions with two different CFD codes results: CFX and NEPTUNE_CFD. Two different analytical approaches have been considered: the whole-bundle and sub-channel approaches, both for laminar and turbulent flow conditions. Looking at results, it is reasonable to assume that an error in the range of 11% - 23% is likely when using equivalent diameter in the laminar regime. In the case of turbulent regime, the equivalent diameter works better and the error is in the range between a few percent and ~12%.
Keywords: hydraulic diameter / accuracy

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