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Title: Examination of Liquid Fluoride Salt Heat Transfer

The need for high efficiency power conversion and energy transport systems is increasing as world energy use continues to increase, petroleum supplies decrease, and global warming concerns become more prevalent. There are few heat transport fluids capable of operating above about 600oC that do not require operation at extremely high pressures. Liquid fluoride salts are an exception to that limitation. Fluoride salts have very high boiling points, can operate at high temperatures and low pressures and have very good heat transfer properties. They have been proposed as coolants for next generation fission reactor systems, as coolants for fusion reactor blankets, and as thermal storage media for solar power systems. In each case, these salts are used to either extract or deliver heat through heat exchange equipment, and in order to design this equipment, liquid salt heat transfer must be predicted. This paper discusses the heat transfer characteristics of liquid fluoride salts. Historically, heat transfer in fluoride salts has been assumed to be consistent with that of conventional fluids (air, water, etc.), and correlations used for predicting heat transfer performance of all fluoride salts have been the same or similar to those used for water conventional fluids an, water, etc). Amore » review of existing liquid salt heat transfer data is presented, summarized, and evaluated on a consistent basis. Less than 10 experimental data sets have been found in the literature, with varying degrees of experimental detail and measured parameters provided. The data has been digitized and a limited database has been assembled and compared to existing heat transfer correlations. Results vary as well, with some data sets following traditional correlations; in others the comparisons are less conclusive. This is especially the case for less common salt/materials combinations, and suggests that additional heat transfer data may be needed when using specific salt eutectics in heat transfer equipment designs. All of the data discussed above were taken under forced convective conditions (both laminar and turbulent). Some recent data taken at ORNL under free convection conditions are also presented and results discussed. This data was taken using a simple crucible experiment with an instrumented nickel heater inserted in the salt to induce natural circulation within the crucible. The data was taken over a temperature range of 550oC to 650oC in FLiNaK salt. This data covers both laminar and turbulent natural convection conditions, and is compared to existing forms of natural circulation correlations.« less
  1. ORNL
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Conference: ICAPP 2014, Charlotte, NC, USA, 20140406, 20140409
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Liquid Salt Fluoride; molten salt; heat transfer; experiments; reactor