Developing 1-D heat transfer correlations for supercritical water and carbon dioxide in vertical tubes
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Taking into account the expected increase in global energy demands and increasing climate change issues, there is a pressing need to develop new environmentally sustainable energy systems. Nuclear energy will play a major role in being part of the energy mix since it offers a relatively clean, safe and reliable source of electrical energy. However, opportunities for building new generation nuclear systems will depend on their economic and safety attractiveness as well as their flexibility in design to adapt in different countries and situations. Keeping these objectives in mind, a framework for international cooperation was set forth in a charter of Generation IV International Forum (GIF) (GIF Charter, 2002) and six design concepts were selected for further development. To achieve high thermal efficiencies of up to 45 – 50%, the use of SuperCritical Fluids (SCFs) as working fluids in heat transfer cycles is proposed Generation IV designs. An important aspect towards development of SCF applications in novel Gen IV Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) designs is to understand the thermodynamic behavior and prediction of Heat Transfer Coefficients (HTCs) at supercritical (SC) conditions. In addition to the nuclear power industry applications; SCFs are also expected to play a vital role in a number of other important technologies such as refrigeration systems, and geothermal systems, to name a few. Given the potential for vast number of applications of SCFs in industry, the objective of this work was to gain an understanding on the behavior of SCFs and to develop a fundamental knowledge of the heat-transfer processes and correlations for SC Water and SC CO2 flowing in bare circular tubes. Experimental datasets for SC Water and SC CO2 were compiled and used to obtain a basic 1-D empirical correlation that can predict HTC in bare circular tubes during the transient phases. The accuracy of these correlations was also analyzed using statistical techniques. Limitations and applications for 1-D correlations are discussed as well. The new correlations showed promising results for HTC and Tw calculations for the reference dataset with uncertainty of about ±25% for HTC values and about ±10-15% for the calculated wall temperature.