The present paper aims to predict the separation efficiency and pressure drop of a vertical geothermal cyclone type separator using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations, for optimizing the design of such separator. A benchmark study was firstly performed for a single phase flow in a Stairmand design cyclone using four different turbulence models, in order to verify the prediction accuracy of flow velocity distribution by comparison with experimental data in literature. The investigated turbulence models include (1) Renormalization Group (RNG) k-ε, (2) Realizable k-ε, (3) Reynolds stress turbulence model (RSM) and (4) Large eddy simulation (LES). Results show that RNG k-ε and Realizable k-ε models are not capable of reproducing the experimental data while the RSM and LES models reproduce the flow velocity distribution very well. Then, CFD simulations of two-phase flow in a steam-water cyclone separator were carried out for different stream inlet velocities applying the RSM model. This is based on the consideration that steady state analysis can be done for the RSM model, and however, transient analysis is needed for the LES model, and hence, more expensive and time-consuming for engineering applications. The CFD results for outlet steam quality and pressure drop were obtained under different stream inlet velocities. The separation efficiency and outlet steam quality decreases a little when the inlet velocity increases from 34.5m/s to 72m/s. However, the outlet steam quality predicted in the present CFD analysis is close to that of Lazalde-Crabtree.

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