Spacers have positive effects on the heat transfer enhancement and critical heat flux (CHF) increase downstream of their location in the boiling channel. These effects are further increased by the inclusion of the fin on the spacer rear edge. Numerical simulation of a separation in a high void gas phase and dispersed droplets flow around a spacer, with a liquid film flowing on the wall, is performed. Mechanisms leading to the CHF increase due to the two-phase flow separation and liquid film thickening downstream the spacer are demonstrated. Numerical simulations of gas phase, entrained droplets and wall liquid film flows were performed with the three-fluid model and with the application of the high order numerical scheme for the liquid film surface interface tracking. Predicted is a separation of gas and entrained droplets streams around the spacer without and with a fin inclined 30 and 60 degrees to the wall, as well as a change of wall liquid film thickness in the vicinity of spacer. Results of liquid film dynamic behaviour are compared with the recently obtained experimental results. Multi-dimensional characteristics of surface waves on the liquid film were measured with newly developed ultrasonic transmission technique in a 3×3 rod bundle test section with air-water flow under atmospheric conditions. Obtained numerical results are in good agreement with experimental observations. The presented investigation gives insight into the complex mechanisms of separated two-phase flow with wall liquid film around the spacer and support thermal-hydraulic design and optimisation of flow obstacles in various thermal equipments.

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