Reduced Order Description of Experimental Two-Phase Pipe Flows: Characterizations of Flow Structures and Dynamics via Proper Orthogonal Decomposition

Multiphase pipe flow is investigated using proper orthogonal decomposition for tomographic X-ray data, where holdup, cross-sectional phase distributions and phase interface characteristics within the pipe are obtained. Six cases of stratified and mixed flow with water content of 10%, 30% and 80% are investigated to gain insight into effects of velocity and proportion of water on the flow fields. Dispersed and slug flows are separately analyzed to consider the added interface complexity of the flow fields. These regimes are also highly applicable to industry operational flows. Instantaneous and fluctuating phase fractions of the four flow regime are analyzed and reduced order dynamical descriptions are generated. Stratified flow cases display coherent structures that highlight the liquid-liquid interface location while the mixed flow cases show minimal coherence of the eigenmodes. The dispersed flow displays coherent structures for the first few modes near the horizontal center of the pipe, representing the liquidliquid interface location while the slug flow case shows coherent structures that correspond to the cyclical formation and break up of the slug in the first 5 modes. The low order descriptions of the high water content, stratified flow field indicates that main characteristics can be captured with minimal degrees of freedom. Reconstructions of the dispersed flow and slug flow cases indicate that dominant features are observed in the low order dynamical description utilizing less than 1% of the full order model. POD temporal coefficients a1, a2 and a3 show a high level of interdependence for the slug flow case. The coefficients also describe the phase fraction holdup as a function of time for both dispersed and slug flow. The second coefficient, a2, and the centerline holdup profile show a mean percent difference below 9% between the two curves. The mathematical description obtained from the decomposition will deepen the understanding of multiphase flow characteristics and is applicable to long distance multiphase transport pipelines, fluidized beds, hydroelectric power and nuclear processes to name a few