The highly turbulent flow inside a pressurized water reactor makes unpractical the use of scale resolving simulations, due to the large number of space and time turbulent structures. The high computational cost associated with typical large eddies simulations or direct numerical simulations techniques is unsuitable due to the large spatiotemporal resolution required. Partially averaged Navier-Stokes turbulence model is presented as bridging model between Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations and direct numerical simulations. As filtered representation of the Navier-Stokes equations, the model is able to continuously shift its energy-based filter, inside the turbulence spectrum, being able to resolve the turbulent scales of interest. The choice of energy based cut-off filters gives the chance to directly impose the degree of needed resolution, where the most important large scales unsteadiness are resolved at minimal computational expenses.

The partially averaged Navier-Stokes modelling approach has been tested for a Reynolds number of 14,000, inside a 5 × 5 fuel bundle, with a single spacer grid and split-type mixing vanes. Four different filters have been tested, whose resolution ranged from Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes and large eddy simulation. A comparison with large eddy simulation will be presented. The results show that the partially averaged Navier-Stokes modeling produces results comparable to those of large eddy simulation when the appropriate cut-off energy filter is chosen. The turbulence models results will be compared with the available particle image velocimetry experimental data.

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