Numerical study of energy separation in a vortex tube with different RANS models

Mohammed Baghdad, Ahmed Ouadha, Omar Imine, Yacine Addad

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    60 Scopus citations


    The aim of the present paper is to investigate numerically the energy separation mechanism and flow phenomena within a vortex tube. A 3D computational domain has been generated considering the quarter of the geometry and assuming periodicity in the Azimuthal direction which was found to exhibit correctly the general behaviour expected from a vortex tube. Air is selected as the working fluid. The flow predictions reported here are based upon four turbulence models, namely, the k-ε, k-ω and SST k-ω two-equations models and the second moment closure model (RSM). The models results are compared to experimental data obtained from the literature. Four cases have been considered by changing the inlet pressure from 200 up to 380 kPa. It has been observed that all the above mentioned models are capable of predicting fairly well the general flow features but only the advanced RSM model is capable of matching correctly the measured cold and hot outlet temperatures. All the other models over predict the mean temperature difference by values up to twice the measured data.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)2377-2385
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Thermal Sciences
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 2011


    • Energy separation
    • Numerical study
    • RANS models
    • Vortex tube


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