CFD (Computational Fluids Dynamics) simulations of HRSGs (Heat Recovery Steam Generators) can improve and optimize the performance of combined cycle power plants. For example CFD results can help to analyze the effect that different working conditions such as changes in power or fuel quality can have on the uniformity of the flow. A uniform flow is important because the tubes inside the HRSG are more susceptible to corrosion and rupture when the flow distribution is strongly nonuniform. An accurate modeling of the flow and heat transfer characteristics is paramount in order to obtain a realistic representation of the process. However, a big problem in CFD modeling of HRSGs, or any equipment with tube-and-shell heat exchangers, is the different length scales of the equipment, which vary from a few centimeters for the tubes diameter to tens of meters for the HRSG vertical height. The problem is that these different length scales would require a very large computational mesh and consequently a very expensive simulation. To overcome this problem, a common approach in CFD simulations of HRSG has been to model the tube banks following a porous media approach, where the tubes are represented by a volume with a porosity factor which gives the volume fraction of fluid within the porous region. Using this model a pressure drop and the total heat absorbed due to the presence of the solid tubes is calculated. However, due to the recent advances and relatively lower prices of computer equipment it is now possible in a relatively economical way to explicitly include the tube banks in the CFD models of HRSGs. In this study a CFD model of a HRSG is presented where the tube banks are included in the geometric model. Results using this model show the fluid flow and heat transfer between the numerous tubes. A further advantage, in contrast to the porous media model, is that the flow inside the tubes is also modeled which gives a more realistic representation of the phenomena inside the tubes.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.