RESEARCH PAPERS: Perspective Paper

Perspective: Issues in CHF Modeling—The Need for New Experiments

[+] Author and Article Information
P. Sadasivan, C. Unal

Engineering and Safety Analysis Group, Technology and Safety Assessment Division, Los Alamos Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

R. Nelson

Advanced Reactor Safety Group, Technology and Safety Assessment Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

J. Heat Transfer 117(3), 558-567 (Aug 01, 1995) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822614 History: Received December 01, 1994; Revised April 01, 1995; Online December 05, 2007


Nucleate boiling and critical-heat-flux (CHF) phenomena have been studied extensively for several decades. However, a satisfactory mechanistic description remains elusive. Although the influences of some system parameters such as heater geometry, body forces, etc., have been elucidated, the influences of several others remain in dispute. In this paper, we present our perspective on the current state of CHF modeling. We list possible parameters that are relevant in the process and discuss the interactions among these parameters. The consequences of such interactions are also discussed. We focus on the simplest configuration—saturated pool boiling on flat heaters. Additional complexities such as orientation effects, flow effects, enhanced surfaces, etc., are not addressed. We highlight specific areas on which we believe experimental efforts should focus to obtain improved mechanistic models of CHF. Experimental techniques used in previous studies are evaluated, and recommendations for new or modified techniques are discussed. We believe CHF must be looked at in the boiling plane (q and ΔT) rather than merely as a single heat-flux point. Mechanistically, this leads us to view CHF as the limiting point of the nucleate boiling region rather than as an independent entity. Experimentally, this means that issues related to the high-heat-flux region must be studied and their effects on CHF investigated.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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