Three-dimensional Numerical Investigation of the Separation Process in a Vortex Tube at Different Operating Conditions

Air separators provide safe, clean, and appropriate air flow to engines and are widely used in vehicles with large engines such as ships and submarines. In this operational study, the separation process inside a Ranque–Hilsch vortex tube cleaning (cooling) system is investigated to analyze the impact of the operating gas type on the vortex tube performance; the operating gases used are air, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The computational fluid dynamic model used is equipped with a three-dimensional structure, and the steady-state condition is applied during computations. The standard k–ε turbulence model is employed to resolve nonlinear flow equations, and various key parameters, such as hot and cold exhaust thermal drops, and power separation rates, are described numerically. The results show that nitrogen dioxide creates the greatest separation power out of all gases tested, and the numerical results are validated by good agreement with available experimental data. In addition, a comparison is made between the use of two different boundary conditions, the pressure-far-field and the pressure-outlet, when analyzing complex turbulent flows inside the air separators. Results present a comprehensive and practical solution for use in future numerical studies.


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  • Accession Number: 01600422
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 17 2016 11:37AM