Natural Circulation Heat Transfer Experiments in Fluoride Salt

[+] Author and Article Information
Graydon Yoder

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831

Dennis Heatherly

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831

Mario Caja

Electrochemical Systems, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN 37830

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038132 History: Received September 01, 2016; Revised August 03, 2017


A liquid fluoride salt experiment has been constructed and used to acquire natural convection heat transfer data. The experiment used FLiNaK salt in a small cell that included a cylindrical electrical heater oriented vertically in a FLiNaK bath. Thermocouples internal to the heater were used, along with FLiNaK temperature measurements and heater power measurements, to determine natural circulation heat transfer coefficients. These data were acquired for Rayleigh numbers ranging from 3 × 105 to 8 × 109 and salt temperatures from 560 °C to 640 °C. Test results show that measured heat transfer coefficients are consistent with conventional natural convection heat transfer coefficients for cylinders, but the average error can be as high as 20% using these correlations. Correlations developed by fitting the data for this experiment show much lower errors (<10%).

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