Heat-transfer analysis of double-pipe heat exchangers for indirect-cycle SCW NPP
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SuperCritical-Water-cooled Reactors (SCWRs) are being developed as one of the Generation-IV nuclear-reactor concepts. SuperCritical Water (SCW) Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are expected to have much higher operating parameters compared to current NPPs, i.e., pressure of about 25 MPa and outlet temperature up to 625 oC. This study presents the heat transfer analysis of an intermediate Heat exchanger (HX) design for indirect-cycle concepts of Pressure-Tube (PT) and Pressure-Vessel (PV) SCWRs. Thermodynamic configurations with an intermediate HX gives a possibility to have a single-reheat option for PT and PV SCWRs without introducing steam-reheat channels into a reactor. Similar to the current CANDU and Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) NPPs, steam generators separate the primary loop from the secondary loop. In this way, the primary loop can be completely enclosed in a reactor containment building. This study analyzes the heat transfer from a SCW primary (reactor) loop to a SCW and Super-Heated Steam (SHS) secondary (turbine) loop using a double-pipe intermediate HX. The numerical model is developed with MATLAB and NIST REFPROP software. Water from the primary loop flows through the inner pipe, and water from the secondary loop flows through the annulus in the counter direction of the double-pipe HX. The analysis on the double-pipe HX shows temperature and profiles of thermophysical properties along the heated length of the HX. It was found that the pseudocritical region has a significant effect on the temperature profiles and heat-transfer area of the HX. An analysis shows the effect of variation in pressure, temperature, mass flow rate, and pipe size on the pseudocritical region and the heat-transfer area of the HX. The results from the numerical model can be used to optimize the heat-transfer area of the HX. The higher pressure difference on the hot side and higher temperature difference between the hot and cold sides reduces the pseudocritical-region length, thus decreases the heat-transfer surface area of the HX.