Chaotic oscillations in a low pressure two-phase natural circulation loop under low power and high inlet subcooling conditions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-232
Journal / PublicationNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes


The oscillation characteristics of a low pressure two-phase natural circulation loop have been investigated experimentally in this study. Experimental results indicate that the characteristics of the thermal hydraulic oscillations can be periodic, with 2-5 fundamental frequencies, or chaotic, depending on the heating power and inlet subcooling. The number of fundamental frequencies of oscillation increases if the inlet subcooling is increased at a given heating power or the heating power is decreased at a given inlet subcooling; chaotic oscillations appear if the inlet subcooling is further increased and/or the heating power is further decreased. A map of the oscillation characteristics is thus established. The change in oscillation characteristics is evident from the time evolution and power spectrum of a thermal hydraulic parameter and the phase portraits of two thermal hydraulic parameters. These results reveal that a strange attractor exists in a low pressure two-phase natural circulation loop with low power and very high inlet subcooling.