Cryogenic fluids have found many practical applications in today’s world, from cooling superconducting magnets to fueling launch vehicles. In many of these applications the cryogenic fluid is initially introduced into piping systems that are in excess of 150 degrees Kelvin higher than the fluid. This leads to voracious evaporation of the fluid and significant pressure fluctuations, which is accompanied by thermal contraction of system components. This process is known as chilldown, and although it was first investigated more than 4 decades ago, very little data are available on the momentum and energy transport during this transient process. Consequently, the development of predictive models for the pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient has been hampered. In order to address this deficiency, an experimental facility has been constructed that enables the flow structure to be observed while temperatures and pressures at various locations are measured. This study focuses on the inverse numerical procedure used to extract the transient heat transfer coefficient information from the data collected; this information is then used to evaluate the performance of various correlations for heat transfer coefficient in the flow boiling regime. The method developed utilizes flow structure information and temperature measurements, in conjunction with numerical computations for the temperature field within the tube wall, to calculate the heat transfer coefficient. This approach allows the transition point between the film boiling regime and the nucleate boiling regime to be determined, and it also elucidates the variation of the heat transfer coefficient along the circumference of a horizontal tube, with the heat transfer on upper portion being significantly smaller than that at the bottom.

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