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particle tracking - not just for contaminant transport


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I was testing a cooling tower at a big coal plant. There were 3 circ water pumps, which the operator suspected were not all performing the same. The 2-meter cement conduits were buried with no access ports, so using a pitot tube was out. I injected Rhodamine dye at the intake of each pump and sampled at the condenser water box. I then had to resolve the differences from only knowing the mixture. The distance from the cooling tower to the condenser was about 0.5 km. The first figure shows a finite element conceptual model of the conduits. The second shows the actual dye measurement. The third shows particle tracking results and the fourth shows the particle tracking model display screen capture. You can download the code (PTRAX) for free. It comes with some examples and works with 2D or 3D and several element shapes.

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