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Title: Thermal hydraulic performance testing of printed circuit heat exchangers in a high-temperature helium test facility

In high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, such as a very high temperature reactor (VHTR), an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) is required to efficiently transfer the core thermal output to a secondary fluid for electricity generation with an indirect power cycle and/or process heat applications. Currently, there is no proven high-temperature (750–800 °C or higher) compact heat exchanger technology for high-temperature reactor design concepts. In this study, printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE), a potential IHX concept for high-temperature applications, has been investigated for their heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics under high operating temperatures and pressures. Two PCHEs, each having 10 hot and 10 cold plates with 12 channels (semicircular cross-section) in each plate are fabricated using Alloy 617 plates and tested for their performance in a high-temperature helium test facility (HTHF). The PCHE inlet temperature and pressure were varied from 85 to 390 °C/1.0–2.7 MPa for the cold side and 208–790 °C/1.0–2.7 MPa for the hot side, respectively, while the mass flow rate of helium was varied from 15 to 49 kg/h. This range of mass flow rates corresponds to PCHE channel Reynolds numbers of 950 to 4100 for the cold side and 900 to 3900 for the hot side (corresponding tomore » the laminar and laminar-to-turbulent transition flow regimes). The obtained experimental data have been analyzed for the pressure drop and heat transfer characteristics of the heat transfer surface of the PCHEs and compared with the available models and correlations in the literature. In addition, a numerical treatment of hydrodynamically developing and hydrodynamically fully-developed laminar flow through a semicircular duct is presented. Relations developed for determining the hydrodynamic entrance length in a semicircular duct and the friction factor (or pressure drop) in the hydrodynamic entry length region for laminar flow through a semicircular duct are given. Various hydrodynamic entrance region parameters, such as incremental pressure drop number, apparent Fanning friction factor, and hydrodynamic entrance length in a semicircular duct have been numerically estimated.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1359-4311
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Thermal Engineering; Journal Volume: 65; Journal Issue: 1 - 2
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS Compact heat exchangers; High-temperature gas-cooled reactors; High-temperature helium facility; PCHE; Very high-temperature reactors