Experimental Studies for the characterization of the mixing processes in negative buoyant jets
University of Cagliari, DICAAR (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Architettura), 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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A negatively buoyant jet (NBJ) corresponds to the physical phenomenon that develops when a fluid is discharged upwards into a lighter environment or downwards into a heavier receptor fluid. In a NBJ the flow is initially driven mostly by the momentum, so it basically behaves as a simple jet released withthe same angle, while far from the outlet the buoyancy prevails, bending the jet axis down and making it similar to a plume. The coexistence in the same phenomenon of both the characteristics of simple jets and plumes makes the NBJs a phenomenon still not entirely explained but, considering also the numerous practical applications, very interesting to study. Here some of the experimental results are presented. The laboratory experiment were obtained on a model simulating a typical sea discharge of brine from desalination plants: a pipe laid down on the sea bottom, with orifices on its lateral wall, releasing brine (heavier than the sea water) with a certain angle to the horizontal, in order to increase the jet path before sinking to the seafloor. A non-intrusive image analysis technique, namely Feature Tracking Velocimetry, is applied to measure velocity fields, with the aim at understanding the influence of some non-dimensional parameters driving the phenomenon (e.g. Reynolds number, release angle) on the structure of the NBJ and of the turbulence.
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