Void fraction is one of important physical values for gas-liquid two-phase flow in nuclear power plants, and it is an essential parameter for designs and performance evaluations of devices, including a core of BWR and so on. Therefore void fraction measurement with real time, high temporal resolution and high spatial resolution has been needed. In several void fraction measurement methods, electric measurement methods of void fraction can realize real-time measurement. In previous studies, conductance methods capacitance methods, wire mesh methods and tomography techniques have been studied.

In the present study, we research on a constant electric current method. This method can measure void fraction with higher temporal resolution and simpler systems. In previous study, the constant electrical current method has been applied in annular flow mainly. However, the method cannot be applied to three dimensional dispersed bubbly flow. This is because void fraction is estimated by cross-section ratio of gas and liquid phases in this method. In the present study, Maxwell’s theory and polarization method are applied to calculation method of void fraction from voltage measured by constant electrical current method, and we try to measure void fraction in dispersed bubbly flow. Maxwell’s theory is a calculation of a mixture with two materials of different conductivity. The polarization method proposed in this study assumes bubbles to be dielectric bodies and void fraction is estimated by the polarization electric field of the bubbles.

In the experimental results, the void fractions in the three dimensional dispersed bubbly flow can be estimated with Maxwell’s theory and the polarization method. The void fractions estimated with these methods are more accurately than the previous method. Furthermore, it is experimentally clarified that the present proposed method can follow highly temporal void fluctuations of bubbly and froth flows. In addition, effects of intervals between electrodes and structures of electrodes are experimentally investigated.

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