Near field mixing of negatively buoyant jets
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Negatively buoyant jets are turbulent flows that are frequently employed by the desalination industry to disperse reject brines into oceanic environments. Although such brines are characterised by elevated concentrations of the same elemental components as the discharge environment contains, there is significant potential for marine ecosystem damage if this waste is not diluted properly. Numerous workers have analysed the dilution and spatial characteristics of negatively buoyant jets, but published data demonstrates notable inconsistencies. An important reason for these discrepancies is the variety of bottom-boundary conditions employed. This complicates comparison with predictions by integral models typically employed for discharge design, as these generally have not been developed with consideration to boundary interaction. In the present study, negatively buoyant jet experimental data is collected where bottom boundary distances are sufficiently large to avoid boundary influence at the point where the discharge returns to its source height (the return point). Near-field centreline dilution data is measured under still ambient conditions, for the source inclinations of 15–75°. Considerable attention is paid to experimental data quality, and all relevant issues are mitigated where possible. In order to ensure the boundary has no influence, source heights in this study range between 2.33 d F0 and 8.07 d F0. A variety of time-averaged and temporal statistics are calculated, and these statistics are compared with published experimental data and predictions by integral models. Normalised trajectory and dilution data from the source through to the return point collapses well at each inclination. The attention to signal quality and the self-consistency of derived experimental results in this study suggest a high level of accuracy, and large distances to the bottom boundary ensure that results are not confused by boundary interaction. Data for dilution rate at the return point supports the use of higher source inclinations (60° and 75°) to maximise dilution capability. A new ‘forced jet’ model is developed that incorporates the concept of a reducing buoyancy flux as the flow rises to maximum height. While this model is not applicable above source inclinations of 60°, predictions at other inclinations are reasonable. Dilution predictions are notably improved when compared to those from existing integral models. Finally, CFD simulations of negatively buoyant jets are conducted using the k-ε turbulence model. Despite the sophistication of this model, the quality of spatial and dilution bulk flow predictions at the centreline maximum height are no better than those obtained from the forced jet model or analytical solutions of Kikkert et al. (2007).