Steam injector (SI) is a passive jet pump which is driven by high-performance steam condensation onto water jet and it is expected to be active at severe accident of nuclear power plant with no electricity. SI is mainly consists of convergent-divergent nozzle. Supersonic steam flow condenses onto water jet in the mixing nozzle and mass, momentum, and energy of steam is transferred to water in the mixing nozzle. Condensed water jet is accelerated at the throat and kinetic energy is converted into pressure in the diffuser, which produces higher pressure than inlet steam pressure. It is easy to apply the SI to nuclear power plant since SI has quite simple and compact structures.

The objectives of the present study are to clarify the mechanism of heat and momentum transfer in the mixing nozzle and to determine operating range of SI for practical use.

A transparent test section is adopted to conduct visualization of the flow structure with a high-speed video camera as well as measurement of pressure distribution in mixing nozzle, throat, and diffuser with changing back pressure. Fundamental parameters change between operative and inoperative state of the injector were evaluated by measuring pressure and temperature distribution along axial direction of the test section. Discharge pressure as one of operating characteristics of the injector was also measured in changing back pressure by decreasing the opening ratio of the back pressure valve attached downstream of the test section.

It was confirmed that discharge pressure increased and the injector became inoperative unsteadily with decreasing opening ratio of the back pressure valve just after it produced the maximum discharge pressure. In the present investigation, this maximum discharge pressure is evaluated as the operation limit of the injector. Furthermore, discharge pressure from diffuser, which is one of the indicators of operating performance as well as operating limit is predicted from inlet condition adopting one-dimensional analysis model proposed previously. By comparing analytical result with experimental data, as well as visualization of flow structure in throat and diffuser, physics model including two-phase flow structure with shock wave which was observed at throat and diffuser are discussed in order to predict injector’s operation with high accuracy.

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