In contrast to mixing in vertical tanks, jet mixing in long horizontal tanks is scarcely investigated in the literature. It is known that jet mixing in long horizontal tanks is more difficult when compared to short tanks, as more liquid volume must be recirculated through the jets.
In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are conducted for the flow in a horizontal cylindrical tank with a length-to-diameter ratio of 3:1 and a nominal volume of 112,560 L (liquid volume of 75,708 L, i.e. 20,000 gallons). A pair of back-to-back Coldrey nozzles is placed near the center of the tank bottom, and each nozzle directs its jet towards the corresponding vessel end. An intriguing phenomenon is observed in the transient simulations, where the turbulent jets oscillate in both horizontal and vertical directions with a low frequency. In order to determine the source of such oscillation, a number of simulations are conducted to explore the effects of mesh type and size, boundary condition on the free surface, turbulence model, and time step. Oscillation persists in all cases, indicating that it is unlikely the result of some numerical instability. The oscillation also appears to be insensitive to the Reynolds number or symmetry in the nozzle or tank geometry. Another simulation with a single jet also shows the oscillatory flow behavior, and thus the oscillation is more likely to be caused by interaction between the jet and the recirculating flow in the tank, rather than interaction between the two jets. Further analysis of the jet velocity profile suggests that the secondary flow on the cross section of the jets might also contribute to the oscillation.
While similar confined jet oscillations due to Coanda effect and blind cavity effect have been previously observed in small cavities by both 2D numerical simulations and laboratory scale experiments, this study shows that such oscillation also exists in industrial scale horizontal tanks. The oscillatory motion of the liquid may lead to improved mixing in the tank.