CFD simulations have been used to determine mass transfer coefficients and power consumption of commercial net spacers. The simulations show transversal and longitudinal vortices, vortex shedding and instationary flow behavior leading to the enhanced mass transfer in spacer filled-channels compared to empty channels. The results of the simulations were validated with experiments and compared with data reported in literature, showing satisfactory agreement. Furthermore, CFD simulations were used to optimize the geometry of commercial net spacers in terms of mass transfer and power consumption. The performance of these optimized spacer geometries will be used as reference for future work on the development of new high-performance spacer shapes.
Li, F., Meindersma, G. W., de Haan, A. B., & Reith, T. (2002). Optimization of commercial net spacers in spiral wound membrane modules. Journal of membrane science, 208(1-2), 289-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0376-7388(02)00307-1