Study of heat transfer in a 7-element bundle cooled with the upward flow of supercritical Freon-12

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Experimental data on SuperCritical-Water (SCW) cooled bundles are very limited. Major problems with performing such experiments are: 1) small number of operating SCW experimental setups and 2) difficulties in testing and experimental costs at very high pressures, temperatures and heat fluxes. However, SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWRs) designs cannot be finalized without such data. Therefore, as a preliminary approach experiments in SCW-cooled bare tubes and in bundles cooled with SC modeling fluids can be used. One of the SC modeling fluids typically used is Freon-12 (R-12) where the critical pressure is 4.136 MPa and the critical temperature is 111.97ºC. These conditions correspond to a critical pressure of 22.064 MPa and critical temperature of 373.95ºC in water. A set of experimental data obtained in a Freon-12 cooled vertical bare bundle at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE, Obninsk, Russia) was analyzed. This set consisted of 20 cases of a vertically oriented 7-element bundle installed in a hexagonal flow channel. To secure the bundle in the flow channel 3 thin spacers were used. The dataset was obtained at equivalent parameters of the proposed SCWR concepts. Data was collected at pressures of about 4.65 MPa for several different combinations of wall and bulk-fluid temperatures that were below, at, or above the pseudocritical temperature. Heat fluxes ranged from 9 kW/m2 to 120 kW/m2 and mass fluxes ranged from 440 kg/m2s to 1320 kg/m2s. Also inlet temperatures ranged from 70ºC – 120ºC. The test section consisted of fuel elements that were 9.5 mm in diameter with the total heated length of 1 m. Bulk-fluid and wall temperature profiles were recorded using a combination of 8 different thermocouples.The data was analyzed with respect to its temperature profile and heat transfer coefficient along the heated length of the test section. In a previous study it was confirmed that there is the existence of three distinct regimes for forced convention with supercritical fluids. (1) Normal heat transfer; (2) Deteriorated heat transfer, characterized by higher than expected temperatures; and (3) Improved heat transfer, characterized by lower than expected temperatures. All three regions were observed for the 7 rod bundle experiments. This work compares the experimental data to predictions based upon current 1-D correlations for heat transfer in supercritical fluids. Results show that no current 1-D correlation was able to accurately predict heat transfer coefficients within ±50%. A parametric analysis of the data was also completed to determine if continuity in the experiment was present. Results of this study show that two distinct regions are present in the data. For cases with a mass flux below 1200 kg/m2s wall temperature profiles appear to be normal while in cases with mass flux above 1200 kg/m2s temperature given by the wall thermocouples were higher than normal. This phenomenon occurred regardless of heat flux-to-mass flux ratios.
SuperCritical-Water cooled bundles, SuperCritical water-cooled nuclear reactor, Experiments, Freon-12, Temperature profile, Heat transfer coefficient, 7-element bundle