Journal of Fusion Energy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 498–504 | Cite as

Numerical Investigation of Liquid Metal Magneto-Convection in a Squared Enclosure Based on OpenFOAM

  • Jingchao Feng
  • Hongli Chen
  • Qingyun He
  • Minyou Ye
Original Research


In liquid metal blankets for fusion power plant, magneto-convection phenomenon cannot be neglected when liquid metal flows slowly. The buoyant convective flow can be comparable to the forced flow in this case. In order to understand the basic knowledge of MHD buoyant flow, a numerical code was developed and validated based on OpenFOAM platform, which is an open source CFD library toolkit. Laminar flow, Boussinesq hypotheses and constant physical properties were assumed to simplify the magneto-convection problem. Liquid metal magneto-convection flow in a long vertical enclosure under different boundary conditions and different directions of magnetic field have been chosen as the benchmark cases. A qualitative and quantitative comparison between the numerical results and analytical solution shows quite good agreement, which indicates the correctness of the magneto-convection code. Furthermore, a 3D case at high Grashof number within the experimental setup was simulated. The numerical results showed that with the decrease of Ha number the flow turns unstable, which agrees with the experimental phenomena. What’s more, the implementation procedure of the algorithm into OpenFOAM platform shows the flexibility and extensibility, which indicates that OpenFOAM can be used to develop more complex algorithm and the developer can pay more attention on the numerical algorithm of magneto-convection and analysis of physical phenomenon.


MHD code Magneto-convection OpenFOAM Buoyant flow Squared enclosure 



This work is supported by National Science Fund of China with Grant No. 11275193. Part of the numerical calculations in this paper has been done on the supercomputing system in the Supercomputing Center of University of Science and Technology of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingchao Feng
    • 1
  • Hongli Chen
    • 1
  • Qingyun He
    • 1
  • Minyou Ye
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Nuclear Science and TechnologyUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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