In the Advanced Gas Cooled Pebble Bed Reactors for nuclear power generation, the fuel is spherical coated particles. The energy transfer phenomenon requires detailed understanding of the flow and temperature fields around the spherical fuel pebbles. Detailed information of the complex flow structure within the bed is needed. Generally, for computing the flow through a packed bed reactor or column, the porous media approach is usually used with lumped parameters for hydrodynamic calculations and heat transfer. While this approach can be reasonable for calculating integral flow quantities, it may not provide all the detailed information of the heat transfer and complex flow structure within the bed. The present experimental study presents the full velocity field using particle image velocity technique (PTV) in a conjunction with matched refractive index fluid with the pebbles to achieve optical access. Velocity field measurements are presented delineating the complex flow structure.

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