From the viewpoint of an importance of safety, the nuclear power plant should be managed to prepare severe accidents. The performance of safety dropped by an accident is strongly to be minimized during the situation of station blackout. The installation of a steam injector (SI) into the nuclear power plant has long been expected.
In the SI, the steam condenses due to the direct contact at the surface of water jet, resulting in the force attracting water. The force drives the circulation of an amount of coolant water. SI also works as a reactor condenser thanks to its high efficient performance during the condensation. Because any external forces to circulate water and steam are not required, SI can be operated without the electric powers. The structure of SI is similar to a convergent-divergent nozzle. After the flow acceleration at a throat, the discharged pressure is expected to exceed the inlet pressure. Owing to its quite simple structure, the reduced cost of installation and maintenance is also expected.
The following previous studies for four cases of throat diameter clarified two-phase flow structures and heat transfer characteristics in water jet and performance of SI: (i) Narabayashi et al. (2000) examined for 5.5 and 6.5 mm in diameter; (ii) Osakabe et al. (2004) for 3.4 mm; (iii) Koizumi et al. (2006) for 4 mm; (iv) Abe et al. (2014) for 4, 6.5, and 8 mm. Although these clarified the operative state which formed a water jet, operative condition was not elucidated. Furthermore, the scale effect for various diameters of SI has not been discussed in detail.
The aim of this study is to clarify scale effect of a test section on operating criteria and performance. Experiment was performed to clarify the scale effect by using three types of throat diameters: 4, 6.5, and 8 mm.
As a result, three formations of a water jet were observed: (i) formation, (ii) incomplete formation, and (iii) no formation. We proposed a classification which enables us to categorize complex flow patterns into five regimes. We clarified the operating criteria of them by comparing water flow rate with steam flow rate. SI did not form a water jet on the condition with low steam flow rate. The suppling water was stopped, and only steam was supplied to the test section for the condition that steam latent heat was larger than subcooled water enthalpy.