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Modeling Supercritical CO2

February, 2017

Illinois Rocstar is excited to announce a partnership with Sandia National Laboratories on a new SBIR contract entitled, “PIV-Validated RANS Turbulence Modeling for Buoyant Supercritical CO2 Flows.” The goal of this project is to develop a cost-effective turbulence model specifically designed for supercritical CO2 flows in direct-fired Brayton cycles.

At supercritical conditions, CO2 behaves in complex ways. As a result, there is a significant lack of confidence in existing computational fluid dynamics approaches to simulating flows of supercritical CO2. Current models were developed for other physical simulations and either do not include the correct physics or are not validated for CO2 flows in the supercritical regime. As supercritical CO2 is increasingly being considered for use in power plants across the country, high fidelity, validated modeling methods are in high demand.  The goal of this project is to develop a cost-effective turbulence model specifically designed for supercritical CO2 flows in direct-fired Brayton cycles. The model will build on existing knowledge of the mathematical structure and physical applicability of existing models to produce accurate simulations of flows including the phenomena most important to supercritical CO2 flows.
Illinois Rocstar intends to develop a high fidelity, cost-effective Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence model with applications to supercritical CO2 flows in direct fired Brayton power cycles. The model will be developed for swirling buoyant flows with special attention paid to the production of turbulence
due to buoyancy, where the frequently used simple gradient diffusion hypothesis is often insufficient. The proposed model will be developed and validated through collaboration with researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and will be developed for use with the Fuego CFD/combustion code and/or OpenFOAM.

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