Towards a Direct Numerical Simulation of a Simplified Pressurized Thermal Shock

  • A. Shams
  • E. M. J. Komen


The aim of this research work is to perform high quality direct numerical simulations (DNS) of a simplified single phase pressurized thermal shock (PTS) scenario with and without buoyancy effects. In that context, the objectives of this paper are (i) to present the road towards the DNS of a PTS design without buoyancy effects and (ii) to demonstrate that the code NEK5000 is adequate for true DNS analyses. This DNS of the PTS design will serve as a reference to validate low order CFD approaches. The higher order spectral element code NEK5000 is selected to perform the high quality DNS computations. The capabilities of this code, in order to perform the DNS for PTS like geometries, have been extensively assessed for a well-known turbulent channel flow configuration with Re τ = 180 (turbulent Reynolds number based on the wall friction velocity). Different numerical parameters of NEK5000 have been thoroughly tested and their influence has been studied to obtain high quality turbulence statistics. This assessment of NEK5000 is further extended for the application of highly skewed hexahedral (non-orthogonal) meshes in a turbulent channel flow. The obtained results have shown that NEK5000 is capable of producing high quality DNS solution for a PTS like complex flow configuration for skewed elements (meshes) up to 60 degrees. Finally, this tested numerical framework is adopted to perform the targeted DNS computations of the simplified PTS design.


Pressurized thermal shock DNS NEK5000 Non-orthogonal meshes Spectral element methods 



The authors are grateful to D. Rosa, P.M.K Prasad and D. De Santis for their contribution in running various channel flow simulations considered in this article. The work described in this paper is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The N3 computations presented in this paper are performed at Swierk Computing Centre in the framework of the EU and MSHE grant no. POIG.02.03.00-00-013/09.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG)PettenThe Netherlands

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