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Title: Advanced Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle Development

Fluids operating in the supercritical state have promising characteristics for future high efficiency power cycles. In order to develop power cycles using supercritical fluids, it is necessary to understand the flow characteristics of fluids under both supercritical and two-phase conditions. In this study, a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) methodology was developed for supercritical fluids flowing through complex geometries. A real fluid property module was implemented to provide properties for different supercritical fluids. However, in each simulation case, there is only one species of fluid. As a result, the fluid property module provides properties for either supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) or supercritical water (SCW). The Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) was employed to model the two-phase flow. HEM assumes two phases have same velocity, pressure, and temperature, making it only applicable for the dilute dispersed two-phase flow situation. Three example geometries, including orifices, labyrinth seals, and valves, were used to validate this methodology with experimental data. For the first geometry, S-CO2 and SCW flowing through orifices were simulated and compared with experimental data. The maximum difference between the mass flow rate predictions and experimental measurements is less than 5%. This is a significant improvement as previous works can only guarantee 10% error. Inmore » this research, several efforts were made to help this improvement. First, an accurate real fluid module was used to provide properties. Second, the upstream condition was determined by pressure and density, which determines supercritical states more precise than using pressure and temperature. For the second geometry, the flow through labyrinth seals was studied. After a successful validation, parametric studies were performed to study geometric effects on the leakage rate. Based on these parametric studies, an optimum design strategy for the see-through labyrinth seals was proposed. A stepped labyrinth seal, which mimics the behavior of the labyrinth seal used in the Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) S-CO2 Brayton cycle, was also tested in the experiment along with simulations performed. The rest of this study demonstrates the difference of valves' behavior under supercritical fluid and normal fluid conditions. A small-scale valve was tested in the experiment facility using S-CO2. Different percentages of opening valves were tested, and the measured mass flow rate agreed with simulation predictions. Two transients from a real S-CO2 Brayton cycle design provided the data for valve selection. The selected valve was studied using numerical simulation, as experimental data is not available.« less
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  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States