Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

Experimental Investigation of Flow Laminarization in a Graphite Flow Channel at High Pressure and High Temperature

[+] Author and Article Information
Francisco I. Valentín

Creare 16 Great Hollow Road,
Hanover, NH 03755
e-mail: fiv@creare.com

Narbeh Artoun

City College of New York,
160 Convent Avenue,
New York, NY 10031
e-mail: narbeh.artoun@gmail.com

Masahiro Kawaji

City College of New York,
The CUNY Energy Institute,
160 Convent Avenue,
New York, NY 10031
e-mail: mkawaji@ccny.cuny.edu

1Corresponding author.

2Two different definitions are provided for the acronym VHTR.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received January 18, 2018; final manuscript received June 9, 2018; published online August 3, 2018. Assoc. Editor: George S. Dulikravich.

J. Heat Transfer 140(11), 112004 (Aug 03, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1033; doi: 10.1115/1.4040786 History: Received January 18, 2018; Revised June 09, 2018

Hot wire anemometer (HWA) measurements of turbulent gas flow have been performed in upward forced convection experiments at pressures ranging from 0.6 MPa to 6.3 MPa and fluid temperatures ranging from 293 K to 673 K. The results are relevant to deteriorated turbulent heat transfer (DTHT) and flow laminarization in strongly heated gas flows which could occur in gas-cooled very high temperature reactors (VHTRs).2 The HWA signals were analyzed to directly confirm the occurrence of flow laminarization phenomenon due to strong heating. An X-probe was used to collect radial and axial velocity fluctuation data for pressurized air and pure nitrogen flowing through a circular 16.8 mm diameter flow channel in a 2.7 m long graphite test section for local Reynolds numbers varying from 500 to 22,000. Analyses of the Reynolds stresses and turbulence frequency spectra were carried out and used as indicators of laminar, transition, or fully turbulent flow conditions. Low Reynolds stresses indicated the existence of laminar or transitional flow until the local Reynolds number reached a large value, ∼11,000 to 16,000, much higher than the conventional Re = 4000–5000 for transition to fully turbulent flow encountered in pipe flows. The critical Reynolds number indicating the completion of transition approximately doubled as the pressure was increased from 0.6 MPa to 2.8 MPa.

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Fig. 1

(a) Schematic of open loop experimental setup and (b) placement of a thermocouple and HWA probe for turbulence measurements

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Fig. 2

Hot-wire anemometer probe and thermocouple used for fluid temperature measurement, taken (a) outside and (b) inside the flow channel

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Fig. 3

Test section flow rate in standard liters per minute as a function of time during the data acquisition period for air at 1.7 MPa and 473 K

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Fig. 4

Variations of the ratio of graphite wall temperature to local fluid temperature near the HWA location (plane 9) with the local Reynolds number for (a) air at bulk temperatures of 473 K and (b) N2 at 673 K

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Fig. 5

(a) Wall-to-fluid temperature ratio for nitrogen at 4.76 MPa as a function of Reynolds number for various exit fluid temperatures and (b) Reynolds numbers corresponding to peaks in wall-to-fluid temperature ratio for air and nitrogen at various pressures and constant fluid temperature of 473 K

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Fig. 6

Turbulence intensity of the radial velocity component at two pressures: (a) 2.72 MPa and (b) 1.70 MPa

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Fig. 7

Variations of Reynolds stress and graphite wall temperature in plane 9 with local Reynolds number at 1.70 MPa for local fluid temperatures of (a) 473 K, (b) 423 K, and (c) 373 K

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Fig. 8

Sensors 1 and 2 voltages for air at 2.72 MPa and 125 standard liters per minute. Voltage was translated by subtracting the mean voltage to the acquired voltage.

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Fig. 9

Raw voltage and filtered data after applying a Butterworth filter for (a) sensor 1 and (b) sensor 2

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Fig. 10

FFT of the raw signal representing turbulence for (a) sensor 1 and (b) sensor 2

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Fig. 11

Two examples showing consistent variations of the Reynolds stress and the summation of the frequency spectrum components with Reynolds number for air at (a) 1.70 MPa, 373 K and (b) 2.72 MPa, 423 K

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Fig. 12

Results for air at ambient temperature and 1.70 MPa



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