Numerical Study on the Magnetohydrodynamics of a Liquid Metal Oscillatory Flow under Inductionless Approximation


Applied Science and Advanced Technology Research Center, National Polytechnic Institute, (CICATA-IPN), Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, 76090, México


A harmonically-driven, incompressible, electrically conducting, and viscous liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic flow through a thin walled duct of rectangular cross section interacting with a uniform magnetic field traverse to its motion direction is numerically investigated. Chebyshev spectral collocation method is used to solve the Navier-Stokes equation under the inductionless approximation for the magnetic field in the gradient formulation for the electric field. Flow is considered fully developed in the direction perpendicular to the applied magnetic field and laminar in regime. Validation of numerical calculations respect to analytical calculations is established. Flow structure and key magnetohydrodynamic features regarding eventual alternating power generation application in a rectangular channel liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic generator setup are numerically inquired. Influence of pertinent parameters such as Hartmann number, oscillatory interaction parameter and wall conductance ratio on magnetohydrodynamic flow characteristics is illustrated. Particularly, it is found that in the side layer and its vicinity the emerging flow structures/patterns depend mainly on the Hartmann number and oscillatory interaction parameter ratio, while the situation for the Hartmann layer and its vicinity is less eventful. A similar feature has been discussed in the literature for the steady liquid metal flow case and served as rationale for developing the composite core-side-layer approximation to study the magnetohydrodynamics of liquid metal flows usable in direct power generation. In this study that approximation is not considered and the analysis is performed on liquid metal oscillatory (i., e., unsteady) flows usable in alternating power generation. Conversely, in terms of prospective practical applicability the formulation developed and tested with these calculations admits the implementation of a load resistance and walls conductivity optimization. That means that besides representing a numerical study on the magnetohydrodynamics of the oscillatory flow under consideration, absent in the literature for the parametric ranges reported, the formulation presently implemented can also be applicable to study the performance of an alternating liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic generator in the rectangular channel configuration.