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Research Papers: Natural and Mixed Convection

Steady-State Analysis of a High-Temperature Natural Circulation Loop Based on Water-Cooled Supercritical CO2

[+] Author and Article Information
Sayan Sadhu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
IIT Kharagpur,
Kharagpur 721302, India
e-mail: sayansadhu@iitkgp.ac.in

Maddali Ramgopal

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
IIT Kharagpur,
Kharagpur 721302, India
e-mail: ramg@mech.iitkgp.ernet.in

Souvik Bhattacharyya

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
BITS Pilani,
Pilani 333031, Rajasthan, India
e-mail: souvik.iit@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received June 5, 2017; final manuscript received September 28, 2017; published online March 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Guihua Tang.

J. Heat Transfer 140(6), 062502 (Mar 09, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-17-1325; doi: 10.1115/1.4038541 History: Received June 05, 2017; Revised September 28, 2017

A high-temperature natural circulation loop (NCL) using supercritical carbon dioxide as loop fluid is modeled to study the effects of operating variables and relevant design parameters on loop performance. The steady-state system model duly considers the axial conduction through loop fluid as well as loop wall and heat transfer with surroundings. The heat source is considered to be a heater with controlled heat flux and the heat sink is modeled as an end heat exchanger with water as the external cold fluid. The governing conservation equations for mass, momentum, and energy are nondimensionalized and are solved numerically discretizing in finite volume method. The numerical results are validated against experimental results reported in the literature in terms of modified Grashof number (Grm) and Reynolds number (Re). Results show that heat loss to the ambient affects the loop performance significantly for the high-temperature loop. It is also observed that the heat input at which the circulation becomes maximum can be increased by increasing either the diameter and/or the loop height. However, better performance is obtained with larger diameter tubes instead of longer loop heights. Axial conduction is seen to have a negligible effect on the overall loop performance. Boussinesq approximation appears to be reasonable as the operating conditions of the supercritical loop are away from the critical point.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Physical model of the rectangular NCL

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Validation for subcritical water

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Validation for supercritical CO2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Variation of loop fluid mass flow rate with input power

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Steady-state temperature profile along the loop length

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Fig. 6

Steady-state pressure profile along the loop length

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Heat transfer coefficients along the loop length

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Effect of loop diameter on mass flow rate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Effect of loop diameter on mass inventory

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Fig. 10

Effect of loop height on mass flow rate

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Fig. 11

Effect of loop height on cooler inlet temperature

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Fig. 12

Effect of heater length on wall temperature and effectiveness

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Fig. 13

Effect of cooler length on wall temperature and effectiveness

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Fig. 14

Effect of insulation thickness on loop effectiveness

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Fig. 15

Effect of diameter and power level on loop effectiveness

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Fig. 16

Effect of wall on loop temperature profile

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