Convection heat transfer of CO2 at supercritical pressures in a 0.27mm diameter vertical mini tube was investigated experimentally and numerically. The tests investigated the effects of inlet temperature, pressure, mass flow rate, heat flux, buoyancy and flow direction on the convection heat transfer. The experimental results indicate that for inlet Reynolds numbers exceeding 4000, the flow direction and buoyancy force have little influence on the local wall temperature, with no deterioration of the convection heat transfer observed in either flow direction. The convection heat transfer coefficient initially increases with increasing heat flux and then decreases with further increases in the heat flux for both upward and downward flows. These effects are due to the variation of the thermophysical properties, especially cp. For inlet Reynolds numbers less than 2900, the local wall temperature varies nonlinearly for both flow directions. The numerical results correspond well with the experimental data for inlet Reynolds numbers exceeding 4000 using several turbulence models, especially the Realizable k-ε turbulence model. However, for inlet Reynolds numbers less than 2900, none of the turbulence models could properly simulate the convection heat transfer at super-critical pressures with high heat fluxes.

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