Hydrogen gathering in the containment may occur followed by a severe accident in a nuclear power plant. A flammable mixture can be formed when hydrogen is mixed with air. The ignition of the gas mixture could threaten the integrity of the containment. In order to provide technology base and experiment data for optimization of hydrogen safety technology of Chinese advanced pressurized water reactor CAP1400, a major project regarding hydrogen safety research of pressurized water reactor containment is underway. As an important part of the project, an experimental facility (A4Q-DH) for the study of hydrogen combustion will be built. Gas displacement method is used to filling the premixed hydrogen-air-steam mixtures into the experimental pipe. Flow behaviors of the gases in the pipe are complicated because fluid flow can be disturbed by the built-in obstacles and gas density can be changed with variation of gas composition concentration. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the gas filling method.

In this paper, gas filling processes for the experimental pipe with different obstacles and gas composition concentrations were simulated using computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS Fluent. The results indicated that hydrogen-air-steam mixtures can be uniformly distributed in the experimental pipe within tens of seconds. The obstacles with modest blockage ratio in the pipe are conducive to shorten the required gas filling time. The hindering effect of annular obstacles is greater than the one of circular and square obstacles. The time required for air to achieve uniformly distribution increases with the increase of the inlet concentration of steam and hydrogen. However, the time required for hydrogen and steam to be evenly distributed in the pipe are relatively close regardless of the shape and blockage ratio of obstacle and the inlet gas concentration.

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