Three-Phase Flow of Water, Air, and Kerosene Simulation, ANSYS Fluent

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The present problem simulates a three-phase mixture within a channel applying VOF model.

This ANSYS Fluent project includes CFD simulation files and a training movie.

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Project Description

The present problem simulates a three-phase flow mixture within a channel with a square cross section. These three phases include air, water and kerosene. The channel consists of a vertical section consisting of two inlet sections at its top and bottom and a zigzag section in the horizontal direction with an outlet section at its end. In the initial state, only the air flow inside the channel is available and with the start of the simulation process, water flow enters the channel from the upper inlet section and kerosene flow from the lower inlet section.

Therefore, to simulate multi phase flow in the present model, the VOF multi phase model has been used. Also, inside the canal, a porous environment with a porosity coefficient of 0.1 is located. The trigger for air and oil flows into the duct is the pressure difference; Thus, two inlet sections have a boundary condition of the type of pressure inlet with a relative pressure of 1000 pascal and a single output section has a boundary condition of the type of pressure outlet with a relative pressure of 0 pascal.

The purpose of the present model is to investigate the volume fractional changes of each of the water, air and kerosene phases over time. This simulation was performed in 5 seconds with a time step of 0.1 seconds.

Geometry & Mesh

The current model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The model consists of a vertical channel for the entry of fluid flows and a zigzag path connected to it in the horizontal direction. The zigzag path is in the form of teeth perpendicular to each other. The cross section of the canal in the whole route is square with the side length of 0.0002 m. There are two sections as flow inputs at the bottom and top of the vertical section of the channel and one output section for the horizontal and zigzag sections of the channel. The following figure shows a view of the geometry.

Three-Phase flow

The meshing of the present model has been done using ANSYS Meshing software. The mesh type is structured and the element number is equal to 416,000. The following figure shows a zoomed view of the mesh.

Three-Phase flow

Three-Phase Flow CFD Simulation

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is unsteady; the amount of volume fraction change of each phase is examined in terms of time.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

A summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution is given in the following table:

Viscous Laminar
Multi phase Model VOF
number of Eulerian phases 3 (air, water, kerosene)
formulation implicit
interface modeling sharp
Boundary conditions
Inlet 1 Pressure Inlet
gauge pressure 1000 pascal
volume fraction for water 1
volume fraction for air 0
volume fraction for kerosene 0
Inlet 2 Pressure Inlet
gauge pressure 1255.6 pascal
volume fraction for water 0
volume fraction for air 0
volume fraction for kerosene 1
Outlet Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Wall Wall
wall motion stationary wall
Pressure-Velocity Coupling SIMPLE
Pressure PRESTO
momentum first order upwind
volume fraction compressive
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 0 pascal
velocity (x,y,z) 0 m.s-1
volume fraction for kerosene & water 0
volume fraction for air 1

Three-Phase flow Results

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to the pressure, velocity, and volume fraction of each of the water, air, and kerosene phases are obtained. All contours are obtained at the last second of the simulation process.

All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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