Evaluation of master equations for the droplet size distribution in condensing flow

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The kinetic equation (KE) and its first- and second-order approximations, the general dynamic equation (GDE), and the Fokker–Planck equation (FPE), respectively, have been evaluated based on (a) their equilibrium distributions, (b) a nucleation pulse experiment, and (c) an expanding nozzle flow. Large differences are observed between the equilibrium distributions of the FPE and KE, whereas the GDE does not have an equilibrium distribution at all. For the nucleation pulse experiment, good agreement is found between the KE, FPE, and GDE due to quasisteady nucleation. For the condensing nozzle flow, the difference between the GDE and the KE distributions is large, although the relevant flow variables show fair agreement. A sensitivity study of the KE solution with respect to uncertainties in (a) the surface tension model, (b) the sticking probability, and (c) the equilibrium distribution revealed that both the sticking probability and the equilibrium distribution have a significant influence on the predicted condensation onset. Furthermore, it is found that the proposed Wölk and Strey-corrected Courtney equilibrium distribution yields the best agreement with the reported measurements
Original languageEnglish
Article number073303
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • METIS-257969
  • IR-67419


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