Comparison of an analytical and computational fluid-dynamics models of a commercial Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube operating with Air and Methane
This paper presents a comparison between the behavior predicted by a computational fluid-dynamic model (CFD) and an analytical model for a commercial vortex tube using air and methane as working fluids, in addition to a three-dimensional mesh for this purpose. The numerical simulation of the turbulent, compressible and high vorticity flow was carried out using RANS equations, the Realizable k-e turbulence model and STAR-CCM+ as software for the equations solution. The variables measured in this work were temperature, pressure and velocity at the exit nozzles of the vortex generator and the tube discharges, resulting in errors of less than 16% between CFD and the analytical model. This numerical study represents a first approximation of the vorticity
phenomenon and has been developed in order to establish a prototype simulation model that provides, under certain inlet conditions to the process, preliminary information on the vortex tube industrial implementation for obtaining liquefied natural gas.