Numerical study on the heat transfer deterioration and its mitigations for supercritical CO2 flowing in a horizontal miniature tube

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Original languageEnglish
Article number107982
Journal / PublicationAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Online published9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


Responding to the rapid growth of size reduction in engineering systems, it is crucial to explore the safety performance of supercritical fluid systems in miniature tubes. In this paper, numerical studies are conducted to explore the performance of baffles on heat transfer deterioration (HTD) mitigations for supercritical CO2 (sCO2) flowing in a horizontal mini tube using RNG k-e turbulence model with enhanced wall treatment (EWT). Three kinds of baffle arrangements: in-lined, staggered and centred, with the same blockage ratio (BR = 0.25) are selected to explore their performance on HTD mitigation. The thermo-hydraulic performances of the baffled tubes are examined using the dimensionless parameters based on normalized Nusselt numbers and Fanning friction factors, Nu/Nu0, f/f0 and PEC = (Nu/Nu0)/(f/f0)1/3. The results reveal that unlike the in-lined and staggered baffles, the centred baffles induce jet impingements directly onto the tube walls and generate significant amounts of transverse fluid velocity near the tube wall (which exceeds that in the core region), making it the most influential baffle arrangement on the HTD mitigations. The effects of baffles on buoyancy flow under a wide range of heat and mass fluxes are explored based on Jackson’s criterion (Gr/Re2<103). It is observed that the Gr/Re2 increases at a relatively lower rate in baffled tube than in the smooth tube under increased heat flux variation whereas it decreases at a higher rate than the smooth tube under increased mass flux variation, thus revealing the buoyancy weakening effects of baffles. Finally, the baffle’s performance on HTD mitigation when the tube is further miniaturized is explored and the results unveil that miniaturization weakens buoyancy, and there exists a certain mini size (D = 0.5 mm) at which buoyancy influence completely vanishes, and the effect of baffles on HTD mitigation becomes insignificant.

Research Area(s)

  • Supercritical CO2, Horizontal miniature tube, Heat transfer deterioration, Mitigation

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