This paper presents an analysis of three new heat-transfer correlations developed for supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) flowing in vertical bare tubes. A large set of experimental data was obtained at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) AECL. Heat-transfer tests were performed in upward flow of CO2 inside 8-mm ID vertical Inconel-600 tube with a 2.208-m heated length. Data points were collected at outlet pressures ranging from 7.4 to 8.8 MPa, mass fluxes from 900 to 3000 kg/m2s, inlet fluid temperatures from 20 to 40°C, and heat fluxes from 15 to 615 kW/m2; and for several combinations of wall and bulk-fluid temperatures that were below, at, or above the pseudocritical temperature.

The objective of the present experimental research is to obtain reference dataset on heat transfer in supercritical CO2 and improve our fundamental knowledge of the heat-transfer processes and handling of supercritical fluids. In general, heat-transfer process to a supercritical fluid is difficult to model, especially, when a fluid passes through the pseudocritical region, as there are very rapid variations in thermophysical properties of the fluid. Thus, it is important to investigate supercritical-fluid behaviour within these conditions.

In general, supercritical carbon dioxide was and is used as a modelling fluid instead of supercritical water due to its lower critical parameters compared to those of water. Also, supercritical carbon dioxide is proposed to be used as a working fluid in the Brayton gas-turbine cycle as a secondary power cycle for some of the Generation-IV nuclear-reactor concepts such as a Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR), Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (LFR) and Molten-Salt-cooled Reactor (MSR). In addition, supercritical carbon dioxide was proposed to be used in advanced air-conditioning and geothermal systems.

Previous studies have shown that existing correlations deviate significantly from experimental Heat Transfer Coefficient (HTC) values, especially, within the pseudocritical range. Moreover, the majority of correlations were mainly developed for supercritical water, and our latest results indicate that they cannot be directly applied to supercritical CO2 with the same accuracy as for water.

Therefore, new empirical correlations to predict HTC values were developed based on the supercritical CO2 dataset. These correlations calculate HTC values with an accuracy of ±30% (wall temperatures with accuracy of ±20%) for the analyzed dataset.

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