Reactor fuel elements generally consist of rod bundles with the coolant flowing axially through the bundles in the space between the rods. Heat transfer calculations form an important part in the design of such elements, which can only be carried out if information of the velocity field is available. A one-equation statistical model of turbulence is applied to compute the detailed description of velocity field (axial and secondary flows) and the wall shear stress distribution of steady, fully developed turbulent flows with incompressible, temperature-independent fluid, flowing through triangular arrays of rods with different aspect ratios (P/D). Also experimental measurements of the distributions of the axial velocity, turbulence kinetic energy, and Reynolds stresses were performed using a laser Doppler anemometer (LDA), operating in a “fringe” mode with forward scattering, in a simulated interior subchannel of a triangular rod array with P/D = 1.123 and L/DH = 77. From the experimental results, a new mixing length distribution is proposed. Comparisons between the analytical results and the results of this experiment as well as other experimental data available in the literature are presented. The results are in good agreement.

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